The Congress finds that:
(1) Tropical forests are declining worldwide.
(2) Tropical forests contain 50 percent of the world’s plant and animal species, contribute significantly to the advancement of science, medicine, and agriculture and produce much of the earth’s oxygen. The loss of these forests leads to the extinction of species, lessening the world’s biological diversity, reduces the potential for new medicines and crops and increases carbon dioxide levels in the atomosphere 1
1 So in original. Probably should be “atmosphere”. contributing to the greenhouse effect that is altering the global climate.
(3) The tropical forest of American Samoa is one of the last remaining undisturbed paleotropical forests.
(4) The tropical forest in American Samoa is the largest such forest under direct control of the United States.
(5) The tropical forest of American Samoa contains the habitat of one of the last remaining populations of Pacific flying foxes.
(6) The flying foxes of American Samoa are responsible for a large part of the pollination which maintains a significant portion of the species which inhabit the Samoan tropical forest.
(7) Information presently available indicates the existence of extensive archaeological evidence related to the development of the Samoan culture which needs to be examined and protected.
(8) The people of American Samoa have expressed a desire to have a portion of the tropical forest protected as a unit of the National Park System.
The purpose of this subchapter is to preserve and protect the tropical forest and archaeological and cultural resources of American Samoa, and of associated reefs, to maintain the habitat of flying foxes, preserve the ecological balance of the Samoan tropical forest, and, consistent with the preservation of these resources, to provide for the enjoyment of the unique resources of the Samoan tropical forest by visitors from around the world.
(Pub. L. 100–571, § 1, Oct. 31, 1988, 102 Stat. 2879.)