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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 Native Americans , Alaska Natives , Native Hawaiians
Native Hawaiians
, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States. About 75% of federal public land is managed by the department, with most of the remainder managed by the United States Department of Agriculture 's United States Forest Service .

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 Ryan Zinke . The Inspector General position is currently vacant, with Mary Kendall serving as acting Inspector General.

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 police matters and internal security. In the United States, national security and immigration functions 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.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Formation of the department * 1.2 Early and later years of the department

* 2 American Indians * 3 Operating units * 4 Controversy * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links

HISTORY

FORMATION OF THE DEPARTMENT

A department for domestic concern was first considered by the 1st United States Congress
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
James Madison
to James Polk . The 1846–48 Mexican–American War gave the proposal new steam as the responsibilities of the 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
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 .

EARLY AND LATER YEARS OF THE DEPARTMENT

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 , 410 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

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
Special
Trustee. The current acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is Lawrence S. Roberts , an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin .

The Department has been the subject of disputes over proper accounting for Native American Trusts set up to track the income and distribution of monies that are generated by the Trust and specific Native American lands, which the government leases for fees to companies that extract oil, timber, minerals, and other resources. Several cases have sought an accounting of such funds from departments within the Interior and Treasury (such as the Minerals Management Service), 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 Native American water rights cases.

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 Native American owners at fair market prices, with the government finally returning the land to tribes. Nobody can be forced to sell.

OPERATING UNITS

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

* Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget

* Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs

* Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance * Office of International Affairs * Office of Native Hawaiian Relations * Office of Restoration and Damage Assessment * Office of Policy Analysis

* Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, Finance, Performance and Acquisition

* Office of Budget * Office of Financial Management * Office of Planning and Performance Management * FBMS Program Management Office * Office of Acquisition and Property Management * Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

* Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Capital border:solid #aaa 1px">

* Government of the United States portal

* Environmental policy of the United States * America\'s Great Outdoors Initiative * Texas General Land Office

REFERENCES

* ^ FY 2014 Interior Budget in Brief - Appendix O * ^ FY 2014 Interior Budget in Brief - Appendix A * ^ GAO, "Federal Land Management: Observations on a Possible Move of the Forest Service into the Department of the Interior", February 11, 2009 * ^ "About the Inspector General". U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved 16 July 2015. * ^ "Oversight: The Office of the