Latest U.S. Department of the Interior News

Historic site proposed at former Mississippi slave market

Nov. 21, 2020 11:10 AM EST

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A federal agency could put money toward eventual development of a historical site that was once one of the largest slave markets in the United States. Enslaved people were sold from 1833 to 1863 at the Forks of the Road site in Natchez, Mississippi. The site currently has a sign and a...

FILE - In this March 5, 2020, file photo Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Native American Caucus co-chair, joined at right by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, speaks to reporters about the 2020 Census on Capitol Hill in Washington. O.J. Semans is one of dozens of tribal officials and vote activists around the country pushing selection of Haaland to become the first Native American secretary of Interior.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

'Something very historical': Push for diverse Biden Cabinet

Nov. 21, 2020 12:36 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Native Americans are urging President-elect Joe Biden to make history by selecting one of their own to lead the powerful agency that oversees the nation’s tribes, setting up one of several looming tests of Biden’s pledge to have a Cabinet representative of Americans. O.J....

FILE - In this May 9, 2008, file photo, male sage grouses fight for the attention of females southwest of Rawlins, Wyo. The Trump administration announced plans that ease protections for sage grouse in the West, prompting an outcry by critics who say the move paves the way for widespread mining and drilling and ignores a federal court ruling. U.S. officials plan to publish the plans Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in the Federal Register as part of a process that could allow the plans to take effect shortly before Trump leaves office. (Jerret Raffety/The Rawlins Daily Times via AP, File)

Trump plans would ease protections for sage grouse in West

Nov. 19, 2020 6:38 PM EST

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Trump administration announced plans Thursday that ease protections for sage grouse in the West, prompting an outcry by critics who say the move paves the way for widespread mining and drilling and ignores a federal court ruling. U.S. officials plan to formally publish what are...

FILE - In this July 16, 2017, file photo, ice is broken up by the passing of the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica as it sails through the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska. Down to its final weeks, the Trump administration is working to push through dozens of environmental rollbacks that could weaken century-old protections for migratory birds, expand Arctic drilling and hamstring future regulation of public health threats. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Trump pushes new environmental rollbacks on way out the door

Nov. 19, 2020 12:32 PM EST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Down to its final weeks, the Trump administration is working to push through dozens of environmental rollbacks that could weaken century-old protections for migratory birds, expand Arctic drilling and hamstring future regulation of public health threats. The pending changes, which...

FILE - This June 5, 2009, file photo shows a Redtail hawk feeding a snake to one of her young ones nested at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is a vital tool for protecting more than 1,000 species of birds including hawks and other birds of prey. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

Trump pushes new environmental rollbacks on way out the door

Nov. 18, 2020 4:36 PM EST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Down to its final weeks, the Trump administration is working to push through dozens of environmental rollbacks that could weaken century-old protections for migratory birds, expand Arctic drilling and hamstring future regulation of public health threats. The pending changes, which...

Murkowski resource report disappoints Pebble Mine opponents

Nov. 12, 2020 8:22 AM EST

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Opponents of Alaska's Pebble Mine said they are disappointed with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s wording of a bill to fund federal resource agencies. Murkowski was involved in releasing the bill Tuesday that includes a 240-word passage about the mine in an explanatory report,...

FILE - This June 30, 2017 remote camera image released by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and her mate with a pup born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. Trump administration officials on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, stripped Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in most of the U.S., ending longstanding federal safeguards and putting states in charge of overseeing the predators. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)

Groups fight to keep gray wolf protections for most of US

Nov. 9, 2020 3:34 PM EST

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates and environmental groups have announced that they are challenging the removal of federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. Two coalitions of groups filed formal notices over the past several days that they plan to sue the U.S. Interior Department...

National parks, lands to be free for Gold Star families

Nov. 9, 2020 9:12 AM EST

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — The U.S. Department of the Interior has accepted a proposal from two Maine lawmakers to make admission to national parks free for Gold Star families. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, proposed the rule change to honor families of military members...

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump talks with then California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, left, during a visit to a neighborhood impacted by the wildfires in Paradise, Calif. Nearly two years ago President Trump ordered the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior to make federal lands less susceptible to catastrophic wildfires. But the agencies fell short of his goals in 2019, treating a combined 4.3 million acres — just over half of the 8.45 million acres the president sought. It was only slightly better than their average annual performance over nearly two decades, according to government data. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Federal agencies fall short of Trump forest protection goals

Oct. 31, 2020 11:38 AM EDT

Nearly two years ago, President Donald Trump stood amid the smoky ruins of Paradise, California, where he blamed the deadliest wildfire in the state's history on poor forest management. "You've got to take care of the floors, you know? The floors of the forest, very important," the president said. He ordered the...

Mexico rebukes governor for call to vote against Trump

Oct. 30, 2020 9:45 PM EDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s federal Interior Department issued a stern rebuke Friday to the governor of the western state of Michoacan for posting a video urging migrants living in the United States to vote against President Donald Trump. The department, which oversees Mexico's domestic affairs,...