This Week, at Interior
Secretary Haaland this week announced two million dollars in grants to support state and Tribal conservation efforts, restoring and improving habitat for big game species. While in Lander, Wyoming with the Governor, the Secretary called the state a great model for how to advance collaborative conservation efforts. Enhancing existing wildlife migration corridors and connecting habitat is a priority for the Biden-Harris administration under its "America the Beautiful" initiative.
The Secretary finished off her week-long western U.S. tour at Yellowstone National Park, where she highlighted how the Great American Outdoors Act is making significant investments in park infrastructure, creating jobs, and supporting local economies. The Secretary met with young people conducting conservation projects within the park, as well as with park leadership and staff to find out how they're navigating record visitation levels.
The Bureau of Reclamation this week released a two year study of the Colorado River Basin which shows a steep decline in water availability, due to the ongoing historic drought, and low runoff conditions. Total Colorado River system storage today is 40% of capacity, down from 49% at this time last year. The study projections will be used to set annual operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead next year.
Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau spent two days in North Dakota this week, where he highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s investments in America’s infrastructure. Stops included a roundtable discussion at Bismarck State College, a visit to the Snake Creek Pumping Plant near Coleharbor, and a tour and roundtable at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Interior and the Department of Agriculture this week announced the activation of President Biden's pay initiatives to recognize and support federal wildland firefighters. That means a pay raise for approximately 35-hundred Interior firefighters, and more than 11 thousand firefighters at USDA’s Forest Service. No firefighter will make less than $15 an hour. The Biden-Harris administration is working with Congress on much-needed, longer-term support, benefits, and work-life balance improvements for federal firefighters.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week announced it has completed its environmental review of the proposed South Fork Wind project. That project offshore New York and Rhode Island could create up to 1,700 jobs and deliver about 130 megawatts of power. It's another step towards achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of accelerating responsible development of renewable energy to tackle the climate crisis and create good-paying union jobs.
A joint report from the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service indicates the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats may have spread to five counties across southern California and northern Arizona. The syndrome has caused the deaths of millions of bats across the country over the last several decades. The findings suggest help from the public is needed, and it should continue to report the discovery of any dead or dying bats.
And our social media Picture of the Week, the rocky, rough and ready canyons on BLM-managed lands surrounding Moab, Utah. Perfect for four-wheeling, hiking and camping, this canyon country offers spectacular scenery, a vast array of arches, spires, cliffs and mesas. Just remember to leave no trace.
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That’s This Week, at Interior.
This Week: Secretary Deb Haaland announces $2 million in grants to support state and Tribal conservation efforts while in Wyoming; the Secretary concludes her week-long western U.S. tour at Yellowstone National Park; the Bureau of Reclamation releases a two-year study of the Colorado River Basin, showing a steep decline in water availability; Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau visits North Dakota, where he highlights the Biden-Harris administration’s investments in America’s infrastructure; Interior and the Department of Agriculture announce the activation of President Biden's pay initiatives for federal wildland firefighters, including an increase in base pay to $15 an hour; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announces the completion of its environmental review of the proposed South Fork Wind project; a new report shows the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats may be spreading across the Southwest; and the spectacular scenery outside Moab, Utah takes center stage in our social media Picture of the Week!