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 Updated Strategic Sustainability Plan
Office of the Secretary
Department Exceeds Annual Renewable Energy Goal, Continues to Reduce Carbon Footprint and Water Use
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and lead in clean energy, the Department of the Interior today released its 2013 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, which outlines actions planned over the next year to cut energy use and waste in agency 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. The Department of the Interior's 2013 Sustainability Plan builds on four years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, and saving energy.
The 2013 Sustainability Plan also will help guide the actions of the department and its bureaus to meet the new goal President Obama set today in a Presidential Memorandum directing the Federal Government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – more than double the current level. Meeting this renewable energy goal will reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence, and support homegrown energy produced by American workers.
Examples of performance reported in Interior's 2013 Sustainability Plan include:
Decreasing certain greenhouse gas emissions by 11.6 percent in FY 2012 relative to the FY 2008 baseline—putting the department on track to meet the reduction goal of 20 percent by 2020.
Reducing potable water intensity by 11.3 percent in 2012, relative to the FY 2007 baseline—putting Interior on track to meet the water reduction goal of 26 percent by 2020; and
Exceeding the FY 2012 renewable electricity goal of 5 percent as a percentage of electricity use.
The 2013 Sustainability Plan also outlines actions planned for the upcoming year to continue progress in meeting the President's goals. It includes Interior's latest Climate Change Adaptation Plan aimed at reducing the vulnerability of each of the department's programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather.
The Department of the Interior developed a Department-wide policy as one of its commitments in its Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The policy outlines principles and responsibilities for incorporating climate adaptation into core mission activities such as protecting and enhancing core conservation areas and wildlife corridors.
The policy and the plan facilitate the Department of the Interior's internal efforts in adapting to natural and cultural resources management activities, accounting for changing conditions and 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.
Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans are available now at sustainability.performance.gov and the Department of the Interior's report and climate adaptation plan are also available here.