Department of Interior

Secretary Bernhardt Announces $10.7 Million in Public-Private Support for Big Game Migration Corridors

Partnership between DOI, NFWF, and ConocoPhillips benefits elk, mule deer and pronghorn in 6 Western states

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the award of $2.1 million in grants to state and local partners in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming for habitat conservation activities in migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer, and pronghorn. The targeted big game species will benefit from the conservation actions funded by these grants as will a wide array of plant and other wildlife species.

Through a public-private partnership between the Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and ConocoPhillips, the grants are expected to leverage more than $8.6 million in matching contributions, generating a total conservation impact of more than $10.7 million. The announcement comes as Secretarial Order 3362 is implemented to improve the habitat conditions in big game migration corridors and winter range areas.

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Acting Secretary Bernhardt Signs Order to Ensure Public Access is Considered in Land Transactions

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WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed a secretarial order directing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adequately weigh public access for outdoor recreation – including hunting and fishing – when determining the appropriateness of the disposal or exchange of public lands. Identifying lands as available for disposal or exchange is required under federal law.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) directs the BLM to identify lands for potential disposal or exchange, using a public process and with state and county involvement. BLM has carried out these provisions revising land use plans and disposal since 1976. However, the BLM’s criteria do not require the agency to weigh public access considerations for outdoor recreation (fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.).

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Interior Announces 2017 Drone Mission Report

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BOISE, Idaho – With a fleet of 312 unmanned aircraft, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Aviation Services supported bureau operators, who flew nearly 5,000 missions in 2017, ranging from fighting wildfires to monitoring dams and spillways and mapping wildlife. The accomplishments of its unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drone program, can be found in a report announced today by DOI that summarizes flights made by more than 200 certified pilots in 32 states nationwide. 

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Interior Releases Report on Fight Against Invasive Mussels

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior today released a report highlighting the progress made in the fight against invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which can impair the delivery of water and power, diminish boating and fishing, and devastate ecosystem health.

The report comes after U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced in June a set of initiatives to protect western ecosystems and hydroelectric facilities from the destructive species through continued collaboration with western governors as well as federal, state, and tribal agencies.

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Wounded Veterans Find Healing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Six wounded veterans helped the National Park Service preserve the nation’s history and culture at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nov. 7-9. At the same time, they found healing.

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The vets are part of the Wounded American Veterans Experience SCUBA Project, an organization that helps veterans overcome combat injuries through scuba diving. Just before Veterans Day, they teamed up with the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center to conduct their first dive within a national park.

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