This Week at Interior October 14, 2022

Transcript: 

This Week at Interior 

The nation this week marked Indigenous Peoples' Day, celebrating the traditions and cultures of Native communities. Secretary Haaland hosted a livestreamed event, where she and Tribal leaders highlighted the importance of Indigenous knowledge in stewarding lands, waters and wildlife. In a video message, the Secretary said the Biden-Harris administration has ushered in a new era for Indian Country, with greater representation and recognition. 

At Interior, we’re incorporating valuable Indigenous knowledge into our decision making, we’re partnering with Native communities to co-steward our public lands and waters, we’re investing in Tribal communities thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan, and we’re working to address legacy trauma and inequity that Indigenous people have endured for far too long.

The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture this week announced proposed steps to protect the Thompson Divide area in central Colorado, one of the state’s most cherished landscapes. To protect wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, grazing lands and clean air and water, the Administration is considering a 20-year withdrawal of the area from mineral leasing, subject to valid existing rights. 

With new funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, Interior this week announced new drought mitigation funding opportunities to improve and protect the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River System. The Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program which will be facilitated by the Bureau of Reclamation, will help increase water conservation, improve water efficiency, and prevent the System’s reservoirs from falling to critically low elevations that would threaten water deliveries and power production. 

Interior this week invited public comment on proposed revisions to streamline the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA. NAGPRA regulations provide a systematic process for returning human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony to Native American and Alaska Native Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. 

Educators around the nation this week have a more accurate and more comprehensive tool to explain the Earth’s water cycle, thanks to a new U.S. Geological Survey water cycle diagram. This revised version replaces one used by hundreds of thousands of educators and students internationally every year since 2000 -- it shows how our water moves and is stored, both naturally and because of human actions. 

This is National Wildlife Refuge Week -- a time for Americans coast-to-coast to get outdoors to enjoy the nation’s largest network of public lands dedicated to wildlife conservation, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Founded in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System offers access to a host of popular recreation activities while providing vital habitat for thousands of wildlife species. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, the view from the Loop, the Bureau of Land Management's National Alpine Loop in Colorado. The rugged 4x4 road winds through the spectacular scenery of the San Juan Mountains, reaching heights of nearly 13,000 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, beautiful fall foliage and abundant wildlife. 

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That's This Week, at Interior. 

10/14/2022

This Week: The nation marks Indigenous Peoples' Day, celebrating the traditions and cultures of Native communities; there are new proposed steps to protect one of Colorado's most cherished landscapes; new funds from the Inflation Reduction Act mean new drought mitigation funding opportunities along the Colorado River; Interior invites public comment on proposed revisions to streamline the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; educators around the nation have a more accurate and comprehensive tool to explain the Earth’s water cycle; this is National Wildlife Refuge Week, a time for Americans coast-to-coast to get outdoors to enjoy the nation’s largest network of public lands dedicated to wildlife conservation; and it’s another taste of an awesome autumn in our social media Picture of the Week!