This Week at Interior September 13, 2019

This Week at Interior September 13, 2019


This Week at Interior Secretary Bernhardt joined Vice President
Mike Pence at the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania to mark the 18th anniversary of the September
11th terror attacks. Those attacks in New York City, at the Pentagon,
and in a field outside Shanksville, took nearly three thousand American lives. The Secretary said the bravery of the passengers
of Flight 93, who tried to retake their hijacked plane, marks an integral part of our American
identity. Among those brave heroes on Flight 93 was
a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee Richard Guadagno. Recovery efforts at the site were difficult
and devastating. But a month after the crash investigators
found Richard’s Fish and Wildlife Service badge, resting in a tree. For us at the Department of the Interior,
that badge, which is on display at the Memorial’s Visitor Center, serves as a moving reminder
of all of our fallen colleagues who’ve gone beyond the line of duty to keep our fellow
citizens, our communities, and our lands safe. You can read Secretary Bernhardt’s letter
to staff at doi.gov Interior this week braced for the effects
of Hurricane Dorian. Last week the category five storm battered
the Bahamas…it caused massive destruction, more than 50 deaths with thousands still missing,
then headed toward the U-S coast. Dorian made landfall on Cape Hatteras as a
category one storm, then moved off to the northeast. At the storm’s height more than 200 Interior
personnel were deployed for response and recovery, and several National Park Service and Fish
and Wildlife properties were closed. Cape Hatteras saw the most damage of any Interior
properties, but officials are still assessing the remaining coastal damage. The Secretary took part in this week’s 2019
Honor Awards Convocation. The awards, first established in 1948, recognize
Interior employees for their heroism, career accomplishments, or exceptional support of
the Department’s mission. For a full list of this year’s awardees,
check out doi.gov/recipients. BLM Deputy Director Perry Pendley was on Capitol
Hill this week, testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee on the relocation
of BLM employees to Colorado and other western states. Pendley said Interior will work hard to ensure
employee job satisfaction, a lower cost of living, more purchasing power and shorter
commute times. You can find his full testimony at youtube.com/USInterior BLM’s Boise District this week is starting
a “prescribed burn” near Juniper Mountain and Trout Springs. That burn will take place in a nearly 14-thousand
acre area, removing dense stands of encroaching trees, improving habitat, livestock foraging,
and removing a potential source of fuel for wildfire. Check out blm.gov The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is teaming
up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force to replenish portions of
the shoreline in Brevard County, Florida. BOEM will use nearly two million cubic yards
of sand from federal waters for three separate project segments. Get the full story at boem.gov Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Doug
Domenech met with Palau President Tommy Remengesau this week to present a two-hundred thousand
dollar grant for the ‘Our Oceans’ conference that Palau is hosting in 2020. Domenech also provided approximately nine
million dollars in infrastructure grants to improve the Koror-Airai road and Anguar Dock
in Palau. Get details at doi.gov/oia Interior this week renewed the extension of
nearly 40 acres of public lands adjacent to the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
in Florida. Pelican Island was the first national wildlife
refuge, originally set aside more than a century ago. The 40-year extension allows BLM to preserve
natural land features around the refuge. See the full story at blm.gov And our social media Picture of the Week,
this bison grabbing a drink at the National Bison Range in Montana. That range has played an important role in
the successful recovery of these magnificent animals. Once 60-million strong, they’d gone nearly
extinct by the late 1800’s… today that number is back to half a million. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram,
and Twitter. That’s This Week, at Interior.


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