This Week at Interior August 4, 2023


Hafa Adai! I’m Marijoy Viernes with the USGS Brown Treesnake Project here on Guam, and you’re watching This Week at Interior! 

This Week at Interior 

Secretary Haaland and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory joined federal, state, local and community leaders in Chicago this week to unveil temporary signage at one of the three sites of the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument. Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago is the site of Emmett’s widely attended visitation and funeral. His mother’s decision to hold an open-casket funeral for her 14-year-old son rocked the nation and helped spur the modern Civil Rights Movement.   

The Secretary then traveled to Riverside, California to highlight how investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda are expanding access to clean, reliable drinking water for families, farmers and Tribes. The Administration is making the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and is providing much-needed resources to enhance Western communities’ resilience to drought and climate change. 

Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau was in Yellowstone National Park this week where he met with members of the Youth Conservation Corps. Through the program, young people between the ages of 15 and 18 are provided with opportunities to learn, work, and recreate in the park in a way that is challenging, educational, fun, and expands their horizons while building unique skills. The team the Deputy Secretary met with has been working on installing bear boxes at one of the park’s campgrounds, which will keep both bears and people safe. 

Interior and the Department of Housing and Urban Development this week announced new actions to make it easier for local communities to obtain federal land below market value to build affordable housing in Southern Nevada. The collaboration between the Departments occurs under the authority of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998, which allows the Bureau of Land Management to sell public lands within a specific boundary around Las Vegas, Nevada, for development.  

Happy 46th birthday to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. OSMRE was created on August 3rd, 1977 with the signing of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, to administer programs for controlling the impacts of surface coal mining operations. 

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams traveled to Grand Teton National Park to mark the third anniversary of the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act – or GAOA. Since 2021, GAOA projects have supported some 17,000 jobs and generated about $1.8 billion for local economies annually. In celebration of the anniversary, today is a “fee free” day at all lands managed by Interior. 

This week we also celebrated World Ranger Day, an international observance that honors those who protect and preserve special places around the world for future generations. From creating trails, enforcing laws, and maintaining sites, to restoring habitat, managing wildlife, and educating visitors, rangers may not wear capes, but they do wear a lot of hats. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, the ever-shifting dunes at New Mexico's White Sands National Park. The brilliant white gypsum sands make a surreal and breathtaking setting, especially during sunrises and sunsets, when the light reflects off the dunes, painting the landscape in warm hues. 

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That's This Week at Interior. 


This Week: Secretary Haaland travels to Chicago to honor Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley; in California the Secretary highlights the Administration's commitment to expanding access to clean, reliable drinking water for families, farmers and Tribes; Deputy Secretary Beaudreau meets with members of the Youth Conservation Corps at Yellowstone National Park; Interior joins forces with HUD to support affordable housing in Nevada; the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement turns 46; National Park Service Director Chuck Sams marks the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act; we celebrate World Ranger Day; and we find our social media Picture of the Week in the shifting sands of New Mexico!