Rocky cliffs with wooded mountain in the background and grassland with trees in the foreground

The Department of the Interior is responsible for more acres of land and water than any other Federal agency, and many of these lands and waters have special significance to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated Island Communities. The term “co-stewardship” broadly refers to collaborative or cooperative arrangements between Department bureaus and offices and Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations related to shared interests in managing, conserving, and preserving Federal lands and waters.

The Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture signed a joint Secretarial Order in 2021 to facilitate co-stewardship of Federal lands and waters with recognized Indian Tribes and the Native Hawaiian community. Since then, DOI has signed several co-stewardship agreements and issued new policy guidance to strengthen co-stewardship.

The Office of Policy Analysis contributes to the Department’s co-stewardship work through expert research, analysis, and supporting collaboration among DOI bureaus. The over-arching goal is to empower Indigenous communities while strengthening management of these unique places.

Banner image: Bears Ears National Monument is co-managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the USDA National Forest, and the five Tribes of the Bears Ears Commission. Credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (public domain).

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