This Week at Interior May 7, 2021


This Week, at Interior  

Remembering the missing, and the murdered...Secretary Haaland this week took part in a red shawl ceremony on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. 

The rates of missing persons cases in the Indian and Alaska Native communities are disproportionate, alarming and unacceptable. It’s heartbreaking to know that   our loved ones are at an increased risk of disappearing without warning and that many times those cases go unsolved and unaddressed, leaving families and communities in the dark. But I believe we are at an inflection point. We have a President who has promised to prioritize this issue and ensure that Indian Tribes have a true seat at the table. The time to act is now.

The Secretary joined several Cabinet members this week to announce the Biden-Harris Administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative. That’s the plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030. A new report calls for a decade-long effort to support locally led and voluntary conservation and restoration efforts across public, private, and Tribal lands and waters in order to create jobs and strengthen the economy’s foundation; tackle the climate and nature crises; and address inequitable access to the outdoors. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced a proposal for new or expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities across 2.1 million acres at 90 national wildlife refuges, and on the lands of one national fish hatchery. The expansion would be the largest in recent history. Hunting and fishing contributes more than $150 billion to the American economy every year.  

This week marks the beginning of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Besides celebrating the incredible contributions those communities have made to American history and culture, Secretary Haaland says the month is also a time to advance racial equity in the country. 

And the Secretary joined President Biden in saluting those who serve the public this week, showing her appreciation for the hard work that public servants at Interior do to keep our country running, and ensure our government and Department can fulfill their missions, especially during the challenging times brought on by a global pandemic. 

The Bureau of Land Management this week gave final approval to the Crimson Solar Project in California. That clears the way for the construction of a solar photovoltaic facility with the potential to deliver enough power to energize approximately 87,500 homes. It’s the first solar project approved during the Biden-Harris Administration. 

The Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Fish and Wildlife Service joined the Yurok Tribe this week in announcing the completion of the Clear Creek Phase 3C Restoration project near Redding, California. The project started back in dramatically increases the amount of spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead on Clear Creek below Whiskeytown Dam.  

After 15 years of planning and development, USGS and its partners are expanding the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system. It’s now available to more than 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington, the most earthquake-prone region in the lower-48 states. All West Coast residents can now receive alerts on their mobile phones from FEMA’s Wireless Emergency Alert system, third-party phone apps, and other technologies. 

And just in time for National Wildflowers Week, our social media *Picture* of the Week, this stunning view of wildflowers blooming at BLM’s Lemhi Pass in Idaho. Wild spaces like these provide a vital habitat for these blossoms to bloom, and they’re not just a treat for the eye...wildflowers have medicinal purposes, besides being an ecosystem all their own, for all sorts of wildlife. 

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That’s This Week, at Interior  

This Week: Secretary Haaland takes part in a red shawl ceremony on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day; the Secretary joins several Cabinet members to announce a plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030; the Fish and Wildlife Service announces the largest expansion in hunting and sport fishing opportunities in recent memory;  Interior celebrates the historic and cultural contributions of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities; Secretary Haaland salutes those who serve during Public Service Recognition Week; the Bureau of Land Management gives a thumbs up to a new solar power project; a decades-long creek restoration project comes to completion in California; the USGS earthquake early-warning system expands to the entire West Coast; and wildflowers bloom in our social media Picture of the Week!