This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland wrapped up her week-long visit to Alaska, celebrating the state’s national parks, public lands, and outdoor recreation economy. She traveled to Kenai Fjords National Park, where she met with Interior employees, heard about the impact of the climate crisis on the landscape, and highlighted investments to help protect the great outdoors. Nearly $100 million in funding is available this year to expand access to national parks and public lands throughout the state.
In Alaska, the Secretary joined Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning to announce that Interior will open approximately 27 million acres of federal lands owed to Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans. The land allotment program was established by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 to offer land to veterans who did not have access to land allotments while serving during the Vietnam War.
Secretary Haaland testified this week before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on President Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget. She highlighted Interior's key role in supporting the administration's effort to fight climate change, advance equity and environmental justice, and repair the nation's aging infrastructure. Interior's portion of the budget proposal totals $18.1 billion dollars, an increase of nearly 20 percent over 2022.
Interior this week announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will take the next steps for possible leasing off the coast of Oregon and in the Central Atlantic. Over the past year, the Biden-Harris administration and the Interior Department have launched the American offshore wind industry by approving and celebrating the groundbreaking of the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters. The Department also held a record-breaking New York Bight auction and announced plans to potentially hold up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025. These efforts help advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
Secretary Haaland this week announced $95 million in funding has been approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The grants will be matched by more than $116 million in partner funds, providing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners the ability to help conserve or restore more than 300,000 acres of wetlands and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, songbirds and other birds across North America – including Canada and Mexico.
Interior this week announced updates on three renewable energy transmission and production projects: the SunZia Transmission Project, the Greenlink West Project and the Cross-Tie Project. The projects underscore the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to accelerating the expansion and modernization of America’s power infrastructure to create good-paying, union jobs and deliver clean energy to American businesses and homeowners.
The U. S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program this week released its new Strategic Science Plan for 2022-2026. The plan outlines the program's top strategic goals and scientific targets for the next five years, prioritizing public safety across the nation, and minimizing social and economic disruption caused by volcanic eruptions.
A 15-year-old from South Dakota has taken home top honors at the 2022 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest. It's the third win for Madison Grimm, who previously won in 2013 and 2020. Her green-winged teal will grace the 2022-2023 Junior Duck Stamp, which raises funds to educate and engage our nation’s youth in wildlife and wetlands conservation and outdoor recreation.
And our social media Picture of the Week, a fantasy world of strange rock formations and fossils at New Mexico's Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Here time and the elements have weathered the rocks into the form of pinnacles, spires, cap rocks and “cracked eggs.”
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That's This Week at Interior.
This Week: Secretary Haaland wraps up her week-long visit to Alaska; Interior will open approximately 27 million acres of federal lands owed to Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans; the Secretary testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on President Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will take the next steps for possible wind power leasing off the coast of Oregon and in the Central Atlantic; the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approves $95 million in funding for wetlands conservation and restoration; Interior has updates on three renewable energy transmission and production projects in the West; the U. S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program releases its new Strategic Science Plan; there's a winner in the 2022 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest; and we head to New Mexico for our social media Picture of the Week!