This Week at Interior
Secretary Haaland this week announced the establishment of a new departmental law enforcement task force to implement the highest standards for protecting the public and provide necessary policy guidance, resources, and training to agency personnel. With a focus on equity and evidence-based decision making, the task force will review and identify opportunities for improvement in the law enforcement programs of the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Secretary Haaland traveled to her home state of New Mexico this week as part of President Biden’s America’s Back Together Tour. The Secretary visited Pecos National Historical Park, which is her ancestral homeland on her maternal grandfather’s side. While at the park, she toured the Pecos people’s traditional sites, rolled up her sleeves for a restoration project, and was briefed by local park officials.
I'm so grateful for the National Park Service staff who put love and care into this place every single day, who rebuild the walls of the church and the convento, and who tackle the invasive species here. Very grateful that we have tremendous caretakers and stewards of this beautiful land.
Secretary Haaland and Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau hosted members of Interior's responder community and their families on July 4th, to thank them for everything they do and continue to do for the communities the department serves.
A new report this week from the U.S. Geological Survey scales down the potential effect of a landslide-generated tsunami in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Current estimates now place maximum wave height at up to seven feet, which is far less than the thirty-foot high wave that was previously assessed in a worst-case scenario. The new USGS study draws upon two recent partner datasets that allowed researchers to better predict what might happen if the landslide were to enter the Barry Arm fjord.
The Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced the addition of nearly five-thousand acres to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The acquisition will help connect critical migration corridors for the endangered ocelot and add to coastal habitat for other wildlife, while promoting climate resiliency and recreational and economic opportunities. It also helps advance the goals of the America the Beautiful initiative to support locally led conservation that enhances important wildlife habitat and improves outdoor recreation.
And our social media Picture of the Week...the dream-like landscape of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, where a midnight sun shines down on a shimmering glacier. Kenai Fjords has everything you need to make a glacier...moist air moving off the Gulf of Alaska in the winter drops an average of 60 feet of snowfall here every year, which explains why more than half of the park is covered in ice.
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That’s This Week, at Interior.
This Week: Secretary Haaland announces the establishment of a new departmental law enforcement task force; the Secretary travels back to her ancestral homelands in New Mexico as part of President Biden’s "America’s Back Together" Tour; honoring Interior's responder community and their families on Independence Day; a new report from USGS scales down the potential effect of a landslide-generated tsunami in Alaska's Prince William Sound; Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is about to get 5,000 acres bigger; and a midnight sun shines in our social media Picture of the Week!