Greetings from New River Gorge National Park and Preserve...and you're watching This Week at Interior!
This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland was in West Virginia this week as she continues her tour of Appalachia, highlighting President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and investments in coal communities. Through the law, Interior is investing $16 billion to address legacy pollution including the reclamation of abandoned mine lands. These projects will create good-paying union jobs, help eliminate dangerous conditions, and lay the foundation for future economic development... nearly $215 million in those investments is available for West Virginia in fiscal year 2022.
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo celebrated World Water Day this week. She participated in a panel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discuss Interior’s focus on promoting environmental stewardship and sustainably managing freshwater resources. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes one of the largest investments in drought resilience in the nation’s history; Interior this week announced $100 million in funding through the infrastructure law to modify the B.F. Sisk Dam in California. The law will provide $500 million to the Bureau of Reclamation over the next five years to support critical dam safety projects, streamline construction management, maintain the operational capacity of Reclamation’s dams and minimize risk to the downstream public.
The Office of Indian Economic Development this week announced it's accepting applications for the Native American Business Incubators Program. The program aims to assist entrepreneurs in Native communities by providing guidance and services like workspace, advice on how to access capital, business education, counseling, and mentorship opportunities.
President Biden this week designated the Amache site in Granada, Colorado, as part of the National Park System. Amache was one of 10 incarceration sites established by the War Relocation Authority during World War II to detain Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast of the United States. More than 10,000 people were incarcerated at Amache from 1942 to 1945.
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey this week announced the first-ever map of the network of underground geological pathways that feed Yellowstone National Park’s legendary geysers and hot springs. Scientists worked with educational partners to generate more than 100,000 models spanning the entire park...they show most thermal features are located above buried faults and fractures that act as fluid conduits.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced a proposal to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The bat, currently listed as threatened, faces extinction due to the wide-ranging impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting cave-dwelling bats across the continent.
The Office of Insular Affairs this week is applauding the appointment of Joseph Yun as Special Presidential Envoy to lead U.S. government negotiations on the renewal of the Compacts of Free Associations with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Interior has a historical and statutory role supporting the Freely Associated States, affirming our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Thousands are turning out once again this week for one of Washington D.C.'s most famous annual attractions, the blooming of the Japanese cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. They’re the centerpiece of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, back in full swing this year after activities were cut back or cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The trees were a gift from the people of Japan exactly 110 years ago this weekend. You can find out more on our blog at doi.gov.
And our social media Picture of the Week comes from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. As winter fades and spring begins, black bears emerge from their dens and new cubs get their first glimpse of the outside world. Young bears grow very quickly and can weigh around 80 pounds by their first birthday.
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That's This Week at Interior.
This Week: Secretary Haaland's Appalachian tour takes her to West Virginia; Interior announces $100 million for added safety measures for the B.F. Sisk Dam in California; a Bureau of Indian Affairs program looks to inspire Indigenous entrepreneurs; a new National Park will commemorate the shameful incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII; it's the first-ever map of the network of underground geological pathways feeding Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and geysers; endangered species protection might be on the way for a threatened bat; there's a new Special Envoy to lead negotiations with the Freely Associate States; the crowds are back in the nation's capital as world-famous cherry blossoms hit their peak bloom; and two adorable bear cubs say hello to the world in our social media Picture of the Week!