This Week at Interior September 30, 2022


This Week at Interior 

Interior leaders visited public lands across America to celebrate National Public Lands Day and highlight President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative, a locally-led effort to restore, connect and conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters over the next decade. Secretary Haaland and Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning traveled to New Mexico to visit the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams was in Baltimore at Masonville Cove. And National Park Service Director Chuck Sams traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to honor those participating in the nation's largest annual single-day environmental volunteer effort. 

Secretary Haaland and Director Sams traveled to South Carolina this week to highlight Interior’s commitment to help tell a more complete story of America. They toured Summerton High School and Scott’s Branch High School, sites that will soon be part of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park. They visited Benedict College to highlight investments to preserve Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and celebrated a new cooperative agreement between the National Park Service and the University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights Research. 

Interior this week announced that the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education will create Indigenous Food Hubs for BIE-operated schools and BIA-operated detention centers. The food hubs will help source Indigenous foods, enhance culturally based healthy nutrition education, and boost training for healthy and culturally appropriate food preparation. The announcement was made as part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. 

The Interior Department’s first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee – or STAC -- held its kick-off meeting this week. The STAC will ensure Tribal leaders have direct and consistent contact and communication with current and future Interior officials. Secretary Haaland announced that President Whitney Gravelle of the Bay Mills Indian Community will serve as the new chair. Chairwoman Erica Pinto of the Jamul Indian Village will serve as vice chair.  

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo was in Texas this week, celebrating a $20 million investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the construction of an El Paso Water Advanced Water Purification facility. It's part of a more than $310 million investment in water recycling and drought resilience projects. 

The U.S. Geological Survey this week released a new report that details the strategic actions necessary to reduce the nation’s risk from landslide hazards. The new strategy will guide the way people study, coordinate responses to and prepare for landslide hazards across the country. 

The National Park Service this week released its annual report on the economic impact of the federal historic tax credit. That program provides a 20% federal tax credit to property owners who rehabilitate historic buildings while maintaining their historic character. NPS says the tax credit program produced an estimated 135,000 jobs last year and added $7.7 billion to the gross domestic product. 

Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, was announced this week as the winner of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, with his painting of three tundra swans flying over a wetland. Hautman’s acrylic painting will be made into the 2023-2024 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp,” which will go on sale in late June 2023. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, a stunning snapshot of the season at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. Fall is one of the best times to visit, when the air is crisp and the autumn foliage reaches its peak color throughout October. 

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That's This Week at Interior. 

This Week: Interior leaders visit public lands across America to celebrate National Public Lands Day and President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative; Secretary Haaland travels to South Carolina to highlight Interior’s commitment to help tell a more complete story of America; Interior announces the creation of Indigenous Food Hubs for Bureau of Indian Education-operated schools and Bureau of Indian Affairs-operated detention centers; Interior’s first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee holds its kick-off meeting; a $20 million investment in an El Paso water facility from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is celebrated; a new report details the strategic actions necessary to reduce the nation’s risk from landslide hazards; a tax credit for rehabilitating historic buildings yields more than 135,000 jobs and $7.7 billion for the economy; a winner emerges in the 2022 Duck Stamp contest; and the colors of autumn paint our social media Picture of the Week!