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).
Interior Department Releases Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan
Office of the Secretary
For the first time, plans include strategies for climate change preparedness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior and other federal departments today released their 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans. The sustainability plans continue the Obama Administration's commitment to lead by example and cut waste, pollution, and costs in federal operations.
President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in federal operations by 2020. Interior's 2012 Sustainability Plan builds on three years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste and saving energy.
Examples of performance reported in Interior's 2012 Sustainability Plan include: • Decreasing certain greenhouse gas emissions by 6.5 percent in FY 2011 relative to the FY 2008 baseline—putting the department on track to meet the reduction target goal of 20 percent by 2020; • Reducing potable water intensity by 11.2 percent in 2011, relative to the FY 2007 baseline—putting Interior on track to meet the reduction target goal of 26 percent by 2020; and • Exceeding the FY 2011 goal for use of 5 percent of electricity from renewable sources.
This year, Interior's Sustainability Plan also includes the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for FY 2013, which outlines initiatives to reduce the vulnerability of Interior's programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather.
The plan, which is being released for a 60-day public comment period, facilitates the Department of the Interior's internal efforts in adapting natural and cultural resource management activities to changing conditions, avoiding or minimizing impacts to people and built assets, working with tribes in their adaptation efforts, and providing scientific information and tools to support the range of activities and programs we oversee in the face of climate change.
Executive Order 13514 requires Federal agencies to submit their Sustainability Plans to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Agencies annually update Sustainability Plans, prioritizing activities that help to meet energy, water, and waste reduction goals based on a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer. In addition to the Climate Change Adaptation Plans, this year's Sustainability Plans include two other new components, Fleet Management Plans and Bio-based Purchasing Strategies.
All of the federal agency adaptation plans build on the Administration's commitment to promoting climate change preparedness and resilience, including launching the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force in 2009, to coordinate measures across the Federal Government and support local and regional adaptation efforts.
Interior's plan is consistent with a new Department-wide climate change adaptation policy finalized in December 2012, which provides guidance to all bureaus and offices to ensure accountability, engender a consistent approach, foster internal and external coordination, and allow for monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation efforts. Implementation of the new policy is underway requiring the bureaus and offices to anticipate and address climate change impacts to their individual mission, programs, and resources.
Comments on the Climate Change Adaptation Plan may be submitted no later than April 12, 2013, to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kim Magraw, Office of Policy Analysis, 1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 3530, Washington, DC 20240