A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar Announces $3.7 Million in Renewable Energy Project Grants for 13 Tribal Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development has awarded $3.7 million to tribes that are developing renewable energy resources for their communities. Access to these resources will allow these communities to develop jobs and additional economic opportunities on their reservations, while decreasing their reliance on fossil fuels.
“This President has made the development of renewable energy in America one of his highest priorities,” Salazar said. “Many tribes are in a unique position to benefit greatly from a variety of renewable energy sources and the Department is committed to helping these communities to achieve this goal.”
The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, in partnership with the Office of Trust Services in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has identified 13 tribes that have significant potential for quickly developing biomass, geothermal, or hydroelectric energy on their reservations. The tribes, resources and award amounts are listed in the attached table.
Salazar noted that tribal communities have shown exceptional interest in renewable energy development.
“This attests to the tribes' desire to use their available energy resources for the benefit of its members,” he said. “It also indicates the willingness of tribes to help America reduce our dependence on foreign energy resources through domestic production.”
In addition to gaining access to the energy itself, all of these projects would also provide job opportunities for reservation residents. “The Department's Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is working hand-in-hand with tribes to provide technical assistance for energy, mineral, and economic development on reservations,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk. “The Office is using innovative and collaborative approaches to improve economic opportunities for the tribes, including renewable energy development, and to help promote new jobs, new businesses, and new capital on tribal lands.”
The proposed projects were identified by the individual tribes, which developed comprehensive proposals that were evaluated by the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development under a competitive process.
The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. Its mission is to foster stronger American Indian and Alaska Native communities by helping federally recognized tribes with employment and workforce training programs; helping tribes develop their renewable and non-renewable energy and mineral resources; and increasing access to capital for tribal and individual American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses. For more information about IEED programs and services, visit http://www.indianaffairs.gov/IEED.
Renewable Energy Projects and Funding Received
Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California - $350,000
Benton Paiute Tribe - $350,000
Cedarville Rancheria - $300,000
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe - $350,000
Rosebud Sioux Tribe - $150,000
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe - $750,000
Colville Confederated Tribes - $200,000
Fond du Lac Reservation - $250,000
Oneida Nation - $250,000
Ho-Chunk Nation - $150,000
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Reservation - $260,000