This Week at Interior
Celebrating history, while making history. Secretary Haaland, the first-ever Native American Cabinet Secretary, took part in a virtual program saluting Women’s History Month. The month pays tribute to the generations of women who fought to secure voting rights, and who keep fighting for equality and opportunities across all of American society.
I wouldn’t be here without the many women who have lifted me up in my work, taken my calls when I felt discouraged, coached me through job interviews, or shared a meal to feed our bodies and our spirits. I stand on their shoulders.
More history made this week...Secretary Haaland became the first Interior Secretary to officially mark International Transgender Day of Visibility. In a statement the Secretary said “There is nothing more powerful in this world than the act of living openly, authentically, and safely. On this Trans Day of Visibility, we recognize the hard-fought victories won by and for the transgender community, honor the transgender loved ones we’ve lost along the way, and recommit to the struggle for full equality."
Secretary Haaland this week joined the Secretaries of Energy, Commerce, and Transportation, along with state, labor, and industry representatives, for a White House forum on offshore wind energy. Interior is working with agencies across the federal government to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of increasing renewable energy development on federal lands and waters.
Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed $249 million this week in offshore oil and gas revenues to the four Gulf producing states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA. Those funds are used for coastal conservation, restoration, and hurricane protection. Additional revenues will be flowing into the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Federal Treasury.
A new USGS study shows Greater Sage-Grouse populations have declined significantly over the last six decades, a decrease of 80% rangewide since 1965, with half of that coming in the last twenty years. The report represents the most comprehensive analysis of greater sage-grouse population trends ever produced.
Better news for the Hawai'ian stilt, or ae'o. The Fish and Wildlife Service this week proposed downlisting the wading bird from endangered to threatened. The Service says the stilt's ongoing recovery shows the power of conservation partnerships between federal, state and private stakeholders.
America celebrates National Park Week April 17th through April 25th. This year the focus will be on outdoor experiences that follow CDC and public health guidance, and on fun and innovative digital experiences. Visitors will be able to “journey” to national parks through a variety of online activities including virtual tours, scavenger hunts, trivia contests, and junior ranger programs. Find out more, and find your park, at nps.gov.
And our social media Picture of the Week, sandhill cranes take flight as the Moon rises over Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The park sits on nearly 150-thousand acres near the San Luis Valley, and has the tallest sand dunes in North America. It's home to some 250 species of birds, as well as large mammals like bison, elk, and bighorn sheep.
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That's This Week, at Interior.
This Week: Celebrating Women's History Month, and observing International Transgender Day of Visibility; Secretary Haaland joins a White House forum on offshore wind energy; Interior disburses nearly a quarter-billion dollars in oil and gas revenue to Gulf States for coastal conservation, restoration, and hurricane protection; a new USGS study shows significant decline of Greater-Sage grouse populations; the Fish and Wildlife Service recommends downlisting the Hawaiian ae'o from endangered to threatened; National Park Week is set for April 17th through the 25th, and sandhill cranes take flight in our social media Picture of the Week.