Latest U.S. Department of the Interior News

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2010, file photo, then-Secretary of Natural Resources-designate Doug Domenech speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Va. A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get a family member hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said. The Interior Department's Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the unnamed relative when that person was seeking a job at the agency.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Probe: Top US official misused office to get son-in-law job

May. 29, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The Interior Department's...

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of females southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. Judge Brian Morris said in a late Friday, May 22, 2020 ruling the Trump administration failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles of public lands in Wyoming and Montana. (Jerret Raffety/The Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

Judge strikes down US energy leasing rules in bird habitat

May. 26, 2020 5:18 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. Judge Brian Morris...

FILE - In this April 4, 2013 file photo, a truck carrying 250 tons of coal hauls the fuel to the surface of the Spring Creek mine near Decker, Mont. A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday, May 22, 2020, from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's administration had fixed its initial failure to consider the environmental impacts of ending the moratorium. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown,File)

Judge nixes bid to stop coal sales that Trump revived

May. 22, 2020 7:09 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge threw out a lawsuit on Friday from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians which sought to revive an Obama-era moratorium against U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's...

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2020, file photo, a woman walks before dawn in Toksook Bay, Alaska, a mostly Yuip'ik village on the edge of the Bering Sea. Native American leaders are raising questions about how $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief tagged for tribes will be distributed, with some arguing that for-profit Alaska Native corporations shouldn't get a share of the funding. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

US position on tribal relief funds sets up court battle

Apr. 23, 2020 10:11 PM EDT

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Alaska Native corporations are eligible for a share of $8 billion in coronavirus funding for tribes, the U.S. Treasury Department said late Thursday, setting the stage for a court battle. More than a dozen Native American tribes have sued the federal government to try to keep the...

FILE - This April 21, 2010 file photo shows oil in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, as the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns. Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling into deeper and deeper waters where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater than ever. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed

Apr. 21, 2020 10:03 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling into deeper and deeper waters, where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater than ever. Industry leaders and government officials say...

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2020, file photo, George Chakuchin, left, and Mick Chakuchin walk on ice over the Bering Sea in Toksook Bay, Alaska, a mostly Yuip'ik village. Native American leaders are raising questions about how $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief tagged for tribes will be distributed, with some arguing that for-profit Alaska Native corporations shouldn't get a share of the funding. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Tribes sue over distribution of coronavirus relief funding

Apr. 17, 2020 8:18 PM EDT

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Several Native American tribes sued the federal government Friday, seeking to keep any of the $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief for tribes kept out of the hands of for-profit Alaska Native corporations. The U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with doling out the money by April...

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2013, file photo, the Grand Canyon National Park is covered in the morning sunlight as seen from a helicopter near Tusayan, Ariz. Edward Keable, a veteran lawyer for the U.S. Interior Department, has been appointed as the new superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, a crown jewel of the park system. The National Park Service announced Friday, April 3, 2020, that Keable will assume his new post in northern Arizona within 60 days.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Government lawyer named as new Grand Canyon park leader

Apr. 3, 2020 8:39 PM EDT

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) — A veteran lawyer for the federal government has been selected to oversee Grand Canyon National Park — a rare appointment of someone who did not move up through the ranks of the National Park Service. Edward Keable currently serves as the assistant solicitor...

FILE - In this May 8, 2011, file photo, hikers climb down the Angels Landing trail in Zion National Park, in Utah. Zion National Park announced Monday, March 23, 2020, it is closing its campgrounds and part of a popular trail called Angel's Landing that is often crowded with people due to coronavirus. The top part of the hike that is being closed is bordered by steep drops and ascends some 1,500 feet (457 meters) above the southern Utah park's red-rock cliffs, offering sweeping views. (Jud Burkett/The Spectrum via AP, File)

Zion is latest national park to close amid virus spread

Apr. 3, 2020 5:00 PM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The red rock vistas at Zion National Park were closed to the public Friday as the Utah site became the latest national park to lock its gates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Local leaders had called for the closure, and Gov. Gary Herbert said he consulted with the Interior...

In this March 27, 2020 photo, Shelly Clayton, center, walks up the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., with her children Audrey Kuhar, 11, left, and Cooper Kuhar, 11. The park has closed restaurants, lodges, visitor centers, campgrounds and other services as it awaits approval from the federal government for a full shutdown. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)

Calls mount to close Grand Canyon after resident gets virus

Mar. 31, 2020 9:19 PM EDT

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Calls mounted Tuesday for the federal government to close Grand Canyon National Park after the popular tourist destination saw its first case of the coronavirus in a hospitality worker. The man who tested positive for COVID-19 lived at a dorm within the park and worked at one of the...