This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland wrapped up a western U.S. trip this week, visiting San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Las Vegas, as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” tour. The Secretary highlighted how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help local, state and Tribal communities tackle the climate crisis, while creating good-paying union jobs, advancing environmental justice and boosting local economies. She also delivered keynote remarks at the Western Governors Association Winter Meeting, discussing how federal and state leaders can work in partnership to get infrastructure investments out to communities as quickly as possible.
Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Bryan Newland completed a tour of meetings with Tribal leaders across Washington state this week. During his visit, he saw and heard about the immediate challenges coastal Tribes are facing related to climate change, as well as ecosystem and infrastructure degradation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $466 million for Tribal climate resilience and infrastructure.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs this week announced the launch of its new website dedicated to solving missing and murdered cases in Indian Country. The tool draws attention to unresolved cases involving Indigenous persons that the Missing and Murdered Unit is working on. The public is invited to help law enforcement solve those cases.
Interior took new steps this week toward addressing the tragic legacy of federal boarding schools for Indigenous peoples. Interior and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition announced an agreement to share records and information in support of Secretary Haaland’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. Those schools separated Native children from their families and sought to erase their languages and cultural identity in the name of assimilation.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week announced it's completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the New York Bight, a portion of the Atlantic Ocean located offshore New York and New Jersey. The completion of this Environmental Assessment is an important step forward in advancing the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of increasing renewable energy development on federal lands and waters.
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo was in Nevada for the Colorado River Water Users Association’s annual conference this week, part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” effort. Interior and water agencies across Arizona, California and Nevada signed a Memorandum of Agreement to invest up to $200 million in projects over the next two years to keep Lake Mead, from dropping to critically low levels. Interior also announced agreements to establish partnerships across the Colorado River basin, and new water conservation agreements with the Colorado River Indian Tribes and the Gila River Indian Community.
Camille Calimlim Touton was ceremonially sworn in this week as the Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees water in the west, especially water management of the Colorado River. She most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation.
And Charles F. Sams III was sworn-in this week as the Director of the National Park Service, the first tribally-enrolled leader in the Service's 105-year history. Chuck most recently served as a Council Member to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy this week released the new 5-year Arctic Research Plan...that plan plots out a high-level strategy for guiding future research to improve community resilience and health, support sustainable economies and livelihoods, and improve risk management and hazard mitigation. The U.S. Geological Survey represents Interior on the planning committee, and provides coordination and research vital to its success.
And our social media Picture of the Week, this breathtaking shot of our Milky Way Galaxy in the skies above BLM's Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area. The station stands on a rugged windswept point of land along California's Highway One, and the remote location allows for clear night skies, perfect for gazing into infinity, and beyond.
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That’s This Week, at Interior
This Week: Secretary Haaland wraps up a western U.S. trip, part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Building a Better America” tour; Assistant Secretary -- Indian Affairs Bryan Newland meets with Tribal leaders across Washington state to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $466 million for Tribal climate resilience and infrastructure; a new website draws attention to the unsolved cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples; Interior takes new steps to address the tragic legacy of federal boarding schools; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management completes its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the New York Bight; Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo travels to Nevada for the Colorado River Water Users Association’s annual conference; the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service have new leadership; there's a new five-year plan for Arctic research; and our social media Picture of the Week takes us to infinity, and beyond!