4 Jun 2005

American Samoa officials discussing expansion of national park

7:33 am on 4 June 2005

Officials from the National Park of American Samoa are holding meetings in Ofu and Olosega this month to discuss the inclusion of additional forest and marine lands on the islands in the park.

The United States Congress authorised the inclusion of an additional 3,500 acres in the national park in December 2002, and funds have now been included in the Federal Year 2005 budget for lease payments.

Park Superintendent Doug Nabor says the meetings with the village councils of Ofu, Olosega and Sili will help give the traditional leaders an understanding of what's involved.

Mr Nabor says it's up to the village councils whether they want to participate.

The additional park lands in Manu'a will be included as an amendment to the original 50-year lease establishing the national park, of which there are 38 years remaining.