This Week at Interior June 24, 2022


Hi, my name is Sue Phillips, I’m the Director of the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, joined here by the Idaho Water Science Center in beautiful Boise, Idaho and you’re watching "This Week at Interior!” (Cheers)  

This Week, at Interior  

Secretary Haaland this week announced $103 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for wildfire risk reduction efforts, and the establishment of an interagency wildland firefighter health and wellbeing program. The Secretary toured the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, where she met with federal firefighting leadership and received a briefing on this season’s fire outlook. 

During National Pollinator Week, Secretary Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams joined lawmakers and scientific experts for the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, D.C. Interior announced that the Fish and Wildlife Service will establish a new Pollinator Conservation Center to address the decline of all pollinators, including monarch butterflies. Interior is also awarding $1 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund. That public private partnership program aims to help reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. 

The National Park Service this week announced that visitor spending in communities near national parks reaped 42 and a half billion dollars in economic impact last year, while supporting more than 320-thousand jobs. National parks saw more than 297 million visitors in 2021, a 25-percent increase over 2020. 

The Bureau of Land Management joined the U.S. Forest Service and the five Tribes of the Bears Ears Commission this week, to celebrate their historic agreement to co-manage Bears Ears National Monument. They unveiled a new Bears Ears National Monument sign which includes insignias of the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni. 

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, known as Earth MRI, is getting a substantial investment, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Nearly $75 million will be distributed to the Earth MRI program for critical minerals research in 30 states. Critical minerals power everything from household appliances and electronics to clean energy technologies like batteries and wind turbines.  

The Bureau of Reclamation – along with Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo and Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton -- marked its 120th anniversary with the groundbreaking of the B.F. Sisk Dam Safety Modification Project. The billion-dollar effort received a $100 million investment earlier this year from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Reclamation was officially established on June 17, 1902, helping to establish the American West as we know it today.

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That's This Week, at Interior. 

This Week: In Idaho, Secretary Haaland announces more than $100 million for wildfire prevention and firefighter wellbeing; it's the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit, aimed at reversing the decline of these invaluable pollinators; visitor spending in national parks adds up to a $42.5 billion impact on the economy; federal and Tribal partners celebrate a historic agreement to co-manage Bears Ears National Monument; the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law pumps tens of millions of dollars into Interior's critical minerals research; and the Bureau of Reclamation marks its 120th anniversary with the groundbreaking of a dam modification project in California.