digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

United States
Department of the Interior
US-DeptOfTheInterior-Seal.svg
Seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Flag of the United States Department of the Interior.svg
Flag of the U.S. Department of the Interior
Agency overview
Formed March 3, 1849; 165 years ago (1849-03-03)
Type Department
Headquarters Department of the Interior by Matthew Bisanz.JPG
Main Interior Building
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C., U.S.
38°53′37.11″N 77°2′33.33″W / 38.8936417°N 77.0425917°W / 38.8936417; -77.0425917
Employees 70,003 (2012)[1]
Annual budget $20.7 billion (2013)[2]
Agency executives Sally Jewell, Secretary
Michael L. Connor, Deputy Secretary
Website www.DOI.gov

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States.

The Department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Interior, who is a member of the Cabinet of the President. The current Secretary is Sally Jewell. There is not currently an appointed Inspector General. Mary Kendall is the acting Inspector General.[3]

Despite its name, the Department of the Interior has a different role from that of the interior ministries of other nations, which are usually responsible for routine police functions which are largely performed in the U.S. by state and local governments and national security and immigration functions which are performed by the Department of Homeland Security primarily and the Department of Justice secondarily.

The Department of the Interior has often been humorously called "The Department of Everything Else" because of its broad range of responsibilities.[4]

History[edit]

A department for domestic concern was first considered by the 1st United States Congress in 1789, but those duties were placed in the Department of State. The idea of a separate domestic department continued to percolate for a half-century and was supported by Presidents from James Madison to James Polk. The 1846-48 Mexican-American War gave the proposal new steam as the responsibilities of federal government grew. Polk's Secretary of the Treasury, Robert J. Walker, became a vocal champion of creating the new department.

In 1849, Walker stated in his annual report that several federal offices were placed in departments with which they had little to do. He noted that the General Land Office had little to do with the Treasury and also highlighted the Indian Affairs office, part of the Department of War, and the Patent Office, part of the Department of State. Walker argued that these and other bureaus should be brought together in a new Department of the Interior.

A bill authorizing its creation of the Department passed the House of Representatives on February 15, 1849, and spent just over two weeks in the Senate. The Department was established on March 3, 1849 (9 Stat. 395), the eve of President Zachary Taylor's inauguration, when the Senate voted 31 to 25 to create the Department. Its passage was delayed by Democrats in Congress who were reluctant to create more patronage posts for the incoming Whig administration to fill. The first Secretary of the Interior was Thomas Ewing.

Many of the domestic concerns the Department originally dealt with were gradually transferred to other Departments. Other agencies became separate Departments, such as the Bureau of Agriculture, which later became the Department of Agriculture. However, land and natural resource management, American Indian affairs, wildlife conservation, and territorial affairs remain the responsibilities of the Department of the Interior.

As of mid-2004, the Department managed 507 million acres (2,050,000 km²) of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States. It manages 476 dams and 348 reservoirs through the Bureau of Reclamation, 388 national parks, monuments, seashore sites, etc. through the National Park Service, and 544 national wildlife refuges through the Fish and Wildlife Service. Energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about 28% of the nation's energy production.

American Indians[edit]

Within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs handles some federal relations with Native Americans, while others are handled by the Office of Special Trustee. The current Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is Kevin K. Washburn, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma.

The Department has been the subject of disputes over proper accounting for Indian Trusts set up to track the income and pay-out of monies that are generated by trust and restricted Native American lands, which the government leased for fees to oil, timber, minerals, and other companies. Several cases have sought accounting of such funds from the departments of Interior (in which the Minerals Management Service also has a role) and Treasury in what has been a 15-year-old lawsuit. In addition, some Native American nations have sued the government over water-rights issues and their treaties with the US. In 2010 Congress passed the Claims Settlement Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-291), which provided $3.4 billion for the settlement of the Cobell v. Salazar class-action trust case and four Indian water-rights cases.[5]

The $3.4 billion will be placed in a still-to-be-selected bank and $1.4 billion will go to individuals, mostly in the form of checks ranging from $500 to $1,500. A small group, such as members of the Osage tribe who benefit from huge Oklahoma oil revenues, will get far more, based on a formula incorporating their 10 highest years of income between 1985 and 2009. As important, $2 billion will be used to buy trust land from Indian owners at fair market prices, with the government finally returning the land to tribes. Nobody can be forced to sell.[6]

Operating units[edit]

The hierarchy of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Controversy[edit]

Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall was implicated in the Teapot Dome scandal of 1921. He was convicted of bribery in 1929, and served one year in prison, for his part in the controversy. A major factor in the scandal was a transfer of certain oil leases from the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy to that of the Department of the Interior, at Fall's behest.

Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt—already facing criticism related to his alleged hostility to environmentalism and his support of the development and use of federal lands by foresting, ranching, and other commercial interests, and for banning The Beach Boys from playing a 1983 Independence Day concert on the National Mall out of concerns of attracting "an undesirable element"—resigned abruptly after a September 21, 1983, speech in which he said about his staff: "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent."[7] Within weeks of making this statement, Watt submitted his resignation letter.[7][8]

Under the Administration of President George W. Bush, the Interior Department's maintenance backlog climbed from $5 billion to $8.7 billion, despite Bush's campaign pledges to eliminate it completely. Of the agency under Bush's leadership, Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney has cited a "culture of fear" and of "ethical failure." Devaney has also said, "Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of Interior."[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FY 2014 Interior Budget in Brief - Appendix O
  2. ^ FY 2014 Interior Budget in Brief - Appendix A
  3. ^ Empty jobs plague Obama administration - Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jennifer Epstein. Politico.Com (2013-08-14). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
  4. ^ "History", National Park Service webpage. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  5. ^ Curtis, Mary C., "Obama Hails Passage of Settlement for Native Americans, Black Farmers", The Huffington Post, 30 November 2010. Accessed 1 December 2011.
  6. ^ Warren, James, "A Victory for Native Americans?", The Atlantic, 7 June 2010.
  7. ^ a b 556. James G Watt, US Secretary of the Interior., "Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations" (1988) via bartleby.com and Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ RMOA - Document
  9. ^ "Bush legacy leaves uphill climb for U.S. parks", Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

  • Crimes Against Nature by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (2004)
  • Utley, Robert M. and Barry Mackintosh; The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History; Dept. of the Interior, Washington, D.C.; 1989

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Interior — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
126778 videos foundNext > 

Columbia River pt1-2 1949 US Department of the Interior Songs by Woody Guthrie

more at http://quickfound.net/ "Historic look at the Columbia River and its development. Woody Guthrie was hired by BPA in 1941 to write the songs for this m...

U.S. Department of the Interior: It Gets Better

Inspired by the amazing videos posted in support of the It Gets Better campaign, Secretary Salazar and Interior Department staff share their messages of hope...

Alabama: Heart of the Confederacy 1937 US Department of Interior, National Park Service

more at http://quickfound.net/ "How did Alabama weather the Great Depression? Find out in this vintage Department of the Interior footage of CCC workers at t...

An Interview with Rhea Suh, U.S. Department of the Interior, on the Proposed Rulemaking Process

A MESSAGE FROM CHAIRPERSON COLETTE Y. MACHADO The Obama Administration recently announced that it was considering creating a process to re-establish a govern...

OPEN LETTER TO DEPT OF THE INTERIOR FROM SENIOR CHIEF ROSS US NAVY RETIRED

OPEN LETTER TO THE DEPT OF THE INTERIOR FROM SENIOR CHIEF ROSS US NAVY RETIRED Subscribe to Kevin Allan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15Afq8i051A I do not o...

Civilian Conservation Corps: "Great Smoky Mountains" 1936 US Department of Interior

more at http://quickfound.net/ "The Department of Interior takes a look at its effort in the Great Smoky Mountains in this vintage film. SUMMARY Civilian Con...

Department of Interior Vs. Hawaiian Nationals Testimony, Keaukaha, HI July 2, 2014

July 2, 2014 the United States Department of the Interior meeting in Keaukaha to take public testimony on 5 questions regarding establishing a government to ...

United States The Department of the Interior

Dianne Sardon Period 2br/ us Government Project.

TVA at Work 1935 US Department of Interior, Tennessee Valley Authority

more at http://quickfound.net/ "A closer look at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and how it works to control water flow in the Tennessee Valley in this ...

Department of the Interior Building and Federal Reserve Building in Washington DC...HD Stock Footage

Link to order this clip: http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675053979_Federal-Reserve-Building_flag-on-building_vehicular-traffic_cars-parked Historic Stock...

126778 videos foundNext > 

34 news items

 
Petoskey News-Review
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:22:30 -0700

His research has been applied to preparation of federal acknowledgment petitions to the United States Department of the Interior, membership and enrollment issues for newly recognized Indian tribes, membership file audits, the inventory and ...
 
The Edwardsville Intelligencer
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:09:09 -0700

On Tuesday, the Glen Carbon Village Board approved a measure than an application for such a designation be forwarded to the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Glen Carbon officials had some reservations about such a ...
 
Wickenburg Sun
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:18:45 -0700

It has already filed an appeal to the United States Department of the Interior regarding the BLM trails and travel plan. “We will be submitting public comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service after additional research is done by Westland Resources ...
 
Leesville Daily Leader
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:49:00 -0700

NATCHITOCHES – Historic portions of Northwestern State University's campus will be included in the National Register of Historic Places, as determined by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. email print. LDL Staff ...
 
Staten Island Advance - SILive.com
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Gateway National Recreation Area employees used to cut the grass adjacent to their property as a courtesy, but were told by the United States Department of the Interior's Office of the Solicitor to stop, the Advance has reported. Oddo said that the ...
 
Billings Gazette
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:00:00 -0700

If that happened, it could help solve the Montana Department of Livestock's and the United States Department of the Interior's clumsy approach to the bison controversy in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone Park is bursting at its borders with bison ...

Industry Leaders Magazine (subscription)

Industry Leaders Magazine (subscription)
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:56:15 -0700

... filed a revised plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage to explore the Chukchi Sea (BOEM, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that controls offshore drilling rights).
 
Barrington Courier-Review
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 11:56:15 -0700

Before the evening was over, movie-goers were asked to address postcards to Sally Jewell, secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, requesting that she “review and reform the BLM program so that the horses are humanely managed on the ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About United States Department of the Interior

You can talk about United States Department of the Interior with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!