United States Secretary of the Interior

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United States Secretary of the Interior
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg
Seal of the Department
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior.svg
Flag of the Secretary
David Bernhardt official photo (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
David Bernhardt
Acting

since January 2, 2019
United States Department of the Interior
Style Mr. Secretary
Member of Cabinet
Reports to President of the United States
Seat Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 43 U.S.C.   § 1451
FormationMarch 3, 1849;169 years ago (1849-03-03)
First holder Thomas Ewing
Succession Eighth [1]
Deputy Deputy Secretary of the Interior
Salary Executive Schedule, level I
Website www.doi.gov

The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior in the United States is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources; it oversees such agencies as the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Park Service. The Secretary also serves on and appoints the private citizens on the National Park Foundation board. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The U.S. Department of the Interior should not be confused with the Ministries of the Interior as used in many other countries. Ministries of the Interior in these other countries correspond primarily to the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. Cabinet and secondarily to the Department of Justice.

United States Department of the Interior United States federal executive department responsible for management and conservation of federal lands and natural resources

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 lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, 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.

Bureau of Land Management agency within the United States Department of the Interior

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres (1,001,000 km2) of public lands in the United States which constitutes one-eighth of the landmass of the country. President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres (2,800,000 km2) of subsurface mineral estate located beneath federal, state and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862. Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

United States Geological Survey scientific agency of the United States government

The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

Contents

Because the policies and activities of the Department of the Interior and many of its agencies have a substantial impact in the Western United States, [2] the Secretary of the Interior has typically come from a western state; only two of the individuals to hold the office since 1949 have not been from a state lying west of the Mississippi River. The current Interior Secretary is David Bernhardt, who holds the office in an acting capacity. He succeeded Ryan Zinke who resigned on January 2, 2019.

Western United States Region in the United States

The Western United States is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. As European settlement in the U.S. expanded westward through the centuries, the meaning of the term the West changed. Before about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. The frontier moved westward and eventually the lands west of the Mississippi River were considered the West.

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the largest river of the United States and the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

David Bernhardt American government administrator

David Longly Bernhardt is an American attorney, lobbyist and government administrator who serves as Acting United States Secretary of the Interior. A partner and shareholder at the Colorado law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, he began working for the United States Department of the Interior in 2001, and served as the department's solicitor from 2006 to 2009, among other roles.

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Interior is as follows: [3]

  1. Deputy Secretary of the Interior
  2. Solicitor of the Interior
  3. Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget
  4. Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management
  5. Assistant Secretary for Water and Science
  6. Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  7. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
  8. Director, Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement, Bureau of Reclamation
  9. Central Region Director, US Geological Survey
  10. Intermountain Regional Director, National Park Service
  11. Region 6 (Mountain-Prairie Region) Director, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  12. Colorado State Director, Bureau of Land Management
  13. Regional Solicitor, Rocky Mountain Region

List of Secretaries of the Interior

Living former Secretaries of the Interior

The former flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior, which was used from 1917 to 1934 Flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior (1917-1934).svg
The former flag of the United States Secretary of the Interior, which was used from 1917 to 1934

As of February 2019, eight former Secretaries of the Interior are alive (with all Secretaries that have served since 1985 still living), the oldest being Manuel Lujan Jr. (served 1989–1993, born 1928). The most recent to die was Cecil D. Andrus (served 1977–1981, born 1931), on August 23, 2017. The most recently serving Secretary to die was William P. Clark Jr. (served 1983–1985, born 1931), on August 10, 2013.

Manuel Lujan Jr. American politician

Manuel Lujan Jr. is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of New Mexico who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1989 and as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1989 to 1993. He was a colleague of George H. W. Bush in the House from 1969 to 1971. In 1989, President Bush named Lujan to his Cabinet.

William P. Clark Jr. American judge, Reagan advisor

William Patrick Clark Jr. was an American rancher, judge, and public servant who served under President Ronald Reagan as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1981 to 1982, United States National Security Advisor from 1982 to 1983, and the Secretary of the Interior from 1983 to 1985.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth (and age)
James G. Watt 1981–1983January 31, 1938 (age 81)
Donald P. Hodel 1985–1989May 23, 1935 (age 83)
Manuel Lujan Jr. 1989–1993May 12, 1928 (age 90)
Bruce E. Babbitt 1993–2001June 27, 1938 (age 80)
Gale A. Norton 2001–2006March 11, 1954 (age 64)
Dirk Kempthorne 2006–2009October 29, 1951 (age 67)
Ken Salazar 2009–2013March 2, 1955 (age 63)
Sally Jewell 2013–2017February 21, 1956 (age 62)
Ryan Zinke 2017-2019November 1, 1961 (age 57)

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References

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. Salazar, Vilsack: The West's New Land Lords Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Chapter 3: SECRETARIAL SUCCESSION (2) - Laserfiche WebLink". elips.doi.gov. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. "About Secretary Jewell". U.S. Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Matthew Whitaker
as Acting Attorney General
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Interior
Succeeded by
Sonny Perdue
as Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Defense
James Mattis
8th in lineSucceeded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue