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DOI Quick Facts

posted to KBC 4/27/04

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nationís principal conservation agency. Our mission is to protect Americaís treasures for future generations, provide access to our nationís 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 78,315 employees and 183,000 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 $14 billion total annual budget. DOI raises more than $9 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 507 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, including:


262 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management
96 million acres managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service
84.4 million acres managed by the National Park Service
8.7 million acres managed by the Bureau of Reclamation associated with reclamation projects.
55.7 million acres managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Over 180,000 acres of abandoned coal mine sites have been reclaimed through the Office of Surface Mining's Abandoned Mine Land Program.


DOI has responsibility for managing a variety of water and underwater resources.  The Bureau of Reclamation manages 476 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 7,300 active oil and gas leases on 42 million acres.  The U.S. Geological Survey conducts groundwater and surface water studies with offices in all 50 states.

Recreation and Cultural Opportunities


66.6 million visits to 3,300 recreational sites provided by the Bureau of Land Management
279 million visits to 388 units, including parks, monuments, seashore sites, battlefields and other cultural and recreational sites provided by National Park Service
39 million visits to 544 wildlife refuges provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service
90 million visits to 308 recreation sites provided by the Bureau of Reclamation
For more information on camping, fishing, archeology, bird watching and other recreational opportunities on Interior and other Federal lands, go to recreation.gov

Native American Lands and Needs


55.7 million acres of land belong to Indian tribes and individuals
The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides education services to 47,671 Indian children in 184 schools and dormitories
The Bureau manages relationships with 562 Indian tribes

U.S. Energy Needs

Energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about 28 percent of the nationís energy production. This includes:

34.5% of natural gas
34.7% of oil
42% of coal
17% of hydro power
48% of geothermal

Scientific Research

The U.S. Geological Survey scientists:

Monitor, analyze, interpret, and disseminate information on earthquakes, volcanoes, and the geology and topography of the United States.
Monitor and assess water quality, streamflows and ground water at thousands of sites across the nation
Produce more than 100,000 different maps
Estimate world and United States energy and mineral supplies
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

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:

Improving habitats for migratory birds, certain marine animals, freshwater and anadromous fish, as well as providing public enjoyment of these resources
Protecting 1,823 endangered or threatened species, 1,265 are U.S.
Preventing and controlling invasive species

For more information, please visit DOI Quick Facts website.

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material  herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed  a  prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
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