This Year at Interior 2022



I’m Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior.   

This year, the Department of the Interior focused on building a better future for every American. 

We're creating jobs through major investments in infrastructure, building the momentum for a clean energy future, and restoring our public lands and waters. 

We have the most incredible system of public lands in the world that are cared for by an amazing team of dedicated Interior career staff. They work hard every day to make those lands welcoming and accessible to everyone. 

At Interior, we are telling the whole story of America, even when it’s difficult. That includes elevating places that put a spotlight on the injustices that were inflicted on marginalized communities, acknowledging the generational trauma caused by federal Indian boarding school policies, and working to remove hateful and derogatory words from the names of our public lands.  

The climate and biodiversity crises we now face demand urgent action. I am proud of the role Interior plays in the all-of-government approach to employ nature-based solutions, honor Indigenous Knowledge, and address environmental injustices as we take on the fundamental challenges of our time.  

But don’t just take it from me – here's what other Department leaders have to say. 

I'm Laura Daniel-Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.  

President Biden has set ambitious goals that will set us on a path to a clean energy economy and the Department of the Interior is making great strides to advance our clean energy future while creating good-paying, union jobs. 

This year alone, we authorized more than a dozen clean energy projects on public lands that directly support solar, wind and geothermal energy generation, which have the capacity to power millions of homes! And an offshore wind sale off the coast of New York made history as the largest energy sale ever. 

More than 50 renewable energy projects onshore and offshore are currently being reviewed. With unmistakable momentum on our side, we are advancing a clean energy economy today and for generations to come. 

Hi, I'm Shannon Estenoz, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

At the Department of the Interior, we know that nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every community. That is at the heart of the President’s America the Beautiful initiative, and our work to expand access to our nation’s national parks, wildlife refuges and outdoor spaces. 

This year, we made millions of dollars available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership to give urban communities resources to create new outdoor recreation spaces, reinvigorate existing parks, and help form connections between people and the outdoors in economically underserved areas.  

America the Beautiful is not only about access. It’s also about supporting locally led conservation efforts and collaborative partnerships across the country.  

Hello, I'm Tanya Trujillo, the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior.  

At Interior, we know that water is life – but climate change is worsening the drought conditions we see around the country, and impacting all of our communities from cities to farms to Tribal communities and impacting our ability to manage energy development and natural resources. 

At this time we have unprecedented resources available to be able to handle the unprecedented challenges we see. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $4 billion to help us address the drought conditions around the country. 

Hi, I'm Joan Mooney, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. 

As our country continues to face the climate crisis, drought and extreme heat are exacerbating wildfire threats. This year, we saw devastating wildfires across the country.  

With a transformational one and a half billion dollars in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Department of the Interior to invest in our workforce, wildfire preparedness, fuels management, and post-fire restoration, we are bringing much-needed support to communities across the country. 

The new Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission will help collaboratively develop recommendations on federal policies and strategies to more effectively prevent, mitigate, suppress and manage wildfires, and rehabilitate lands affected by wildfires, so that we are addressing the emergencies of today, while reducing the risk of them for years to come. 

"Aanii Boozhoo.” (Hello) “Mino ghiizhep!" (Good day!)  

My name is Bryan Newland, and I serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs here at the Department of the Interior.  

At Interior, honoring our government-to-government relationships with Tribes and upholding our trust and treaty responsibilities are paramount to our mission.    

That means a commitment to collaborate with Tribes to make life healthier and safer for Indigenous people by strengthening tribal sovereignty and revitalizing Tribal languages, cultures, economies, and lands. It involves an investment of resources: through the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve invested more than $45 billion into Indian Country in just 20 months. That's more than 15-years’ worth of BIA funding.

It also includes strengthening the connection between Indigenous people and the land including through co-stewardship opportunities which benefits all Americans; utilizing Indigenous Knowledge; reducing bureaucratic red tape that limits Tribe’s abilities to make decisions for their people; and committing ourselves to revitalizing Tribal communities.  

Hi, I'm Bob Anderson, Solicitor of the Department of the Interior. 

The Solicitor’s office advises the Secretary and the Interior Bureaus on all legal matters.  We also house the Ethics Office and I am proud to be the Chief Ethics Officer for the Department. 

Part of our ethical commitment is about building trust in government by ensuring that everyone has a seat at the decision-making table. Matters involving Alaska Natives and  Native Hawaiians compose a large part of our work. For the first time in Interior's history we will require formal consultation with the Native Hawaiian Community. New policies and procedures will further inform and honor the special political and trust relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian Community.  

In Alaska, Interior brought the first-ever federal court lawsuit to protect the fishing rights of Alaska Native subsistence users from State of Alaska interference. We were successful in the effort to protect subsistence uses. We also published a legal Opinion confirming the Secretary’s authority to take land into trust for Alaska Native tribes, a very important part of our legal responsibility to the Native community. 

I am Carmen Cantor, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs. 

The ocean connects all of us, but many communities, ecosystems, wildlife and ways of life are at risk in the face of a changing climate. This is especially urgent in vulnerable coastal communities, including the U.S territories and Insular areas, where coastal erosion and extreme weather events have devastated communities. 

We are working to build a healthy and resilient ocean and coastal areas so that communities can adapt and flourish as we address the climate crisis.  

In addition to the Department of the Interior’s cross bureau efforts to safeguard coastal communities and conserve valuable resources across the nation, our efforts this year included strengthening economic and public health capacities in the territories, fulfilling Compact of Free Association obligations with each of the freely associated states, and working in partnership with island communities to ensure their resiliency for generations to come. 

I’m Tommy Beaudreau, the Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior.   

This year at Interior – we had QUITE the year!  

The Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represent the largest investment in climate resilience in the nation’s history and provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the work of the Interior Department. None of this would have been possible, until we built the infrastructure to do infrastructure.  

And that we did in 2022. We hired over 250 staff across our bureaus and offices and in some cases literally created new programs from the bottom up. We hosted over a dozen stakeholder meetings to hear from states, Tribes and local communities to help us put dollars where they're needed most. So far, we have funded nearly 1,000 infrastructure projects and put billions to work revitalizing communities, addressing legacy pollution, investing in water infrastructure and ecosystem restoration, strengthening fire resilience, and creating jobs.  

This is the work that must be done to deliver on the commitments we need to fulfill if we are going to leave our environment better, cleaner and safer for our children and grandchildren. 

And we’re just getting started.

(Music ends).  

This year, the Department of the Interior focused on building a better future for every American, with unprecedented investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. We're creating jobs through major investments in infrastructure, building the momentum for a clean energy future, and restoring our public lands and waters. We are committed to telling the whole story of America, honoring Indigenous knowledge, employing nature-based solutions and tackling the fundamental challenges of climate change.