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Department of the Interior Quick Facts

By Experience

Want to know what's cool? How about the Department of the Interior. Here are some quick facts about the DOI.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nation's principal conservation agency. Our mission is to protect America's treasures for future generations, provide access to our nation's natural and cultural heritage, offer recreation opportunities, honor our trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives and our responsibilities to island communities, conduct scientific research, provide wise stewardship of energy and mineral resources, foster sound use of land and water resources, and conserve and protect fish and wildlife. The work that we do affects the lives of millions of people; from the family taking a vacation in one of our national parks to the children studying in one of our Indian schools.

Interior is a large, decentralized agency with over 80,000 employees and 180 volunteers located at approximately 2,400 operating locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and freely associated states. We discharge our responsibilities on a $16.4 billion total annual budget. DOI raises more than $6.3 billion in revenues collected from energy, mineral, grazing, timber, recreation, land sales, etc.


Since Congress created the Department of the Interior in 1849, it has become the steward for:


DOI manages 500 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, including:

Lick Wash, Grand Staircase, Escalante National Monument, Bureau of Land Management
bullet 261.7 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management
bullet 94.3 million acres managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service
bullet million acres managed by the National Park Service
bullet 8.7 million acres managed by the Bureau of Reclamation associated with reclamation projects
bullet 56 million acres managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Over 190,000 acres of abandoned coal mine sites have been reclaimed through the Office of Surface Mining's Abandoned Mine Land Program.

WaterShasta Reservoir, Shasta, California

DOI has responsibility for managing a variety of water and underwater resources. The Bureau of Reclamation manages 472 dams and 348 reservoirs that deliver irrigation water to one of every five western farmers and provide water for 31 million people. The Minerals Management Service has jurisdiction over approximately 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf, on which it manages about 8,386 active oil and gas leases on million acres.? The U.S. Geological Survey conducts groundwater and surface water studies with offices in all 50 states.

Recreation and Cultural Opportunities

Mount Rushmore
bullet 56.1 million visits to 3,496 recreational sites provided by the Bureau of Land Management
bullet 271 million visits to 390 units, including parks, monuments, seashore sites, battlefields and other cultural and recreational sites provided by National Park Service
bullet 72.6 million visits to 545 wildlife refuges provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service
bullet 90 million visits to 308 recreation sites provided by the Bureau of Reclamation
bullet For more information on camping, fishing, archeology, bird watching and other recreational opportunities on Interior and other Federal lands, go to

Native American Lands and Needs

bullet 56 million acres of land belong to Indian tribes and individuals
bullet The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides education services to 47,722 Indian children in 184 schools and dormitories
bullet The Bureau manages relationships with 561 Indian tribes
Chief Leschi School, Puyallup Tribe of Indians

U.S. Energy Needs

Energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about percent of the nation?s energy production. This includes:

Drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico
bullet 39% of natural gas
bullet 35% of oil
bullet 44% of coal
bullet 17% of hydro power
bullet 50% of geothermal

Scientific Research

The U.S. Geological Survey scientists:

bullet Monitor, analyze, interpret, and disseminate information on earthquakes, volcanoes, and the geology and topography of the United States.
bullet Monitor and assess water quality, streamflows and ground water at thousands of sites across the nation
bullet Produce more than 55,000 different maps
bullet Estimate world and United States energy and mineral supplies
bullet Conduct a wide range of research on biology, geology, and water to provide land and resource managers with the information they need to make sound decisions, and to help mitigate the effects of natural hazards
Closeup of Daytona International Speedway, USGS aerial photograph.

Fish and Wildlife

The Department seeks to work with others to conserve, manage, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of all Americans. DOI is responsible for:

bullet Improving habitats for migratory birds, certain marine animals, freshwater and anadromous fish, as well as providing public enjoyment of these resources
bullet Protecting 1,868 endangered or threatened species, 1,300 are U.S.
bullet Preventing and controlling invasive species

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