Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Wildfire strategy sees varied challenges across nation

Accumulated vegetation, the proximity of communities to wildfire-prone areas, human-caused ignitions and the high cost of response emerge as the four national challenges identified in wildfire strategy the Obama administration released earlier this month.

DOI wants agencywide system for environmental impacts of development on federal land

The Interior Department is develping an agencywide way of looking at the the environmental impacts of developing federal land rather than continuing the reactive, case-by-case approach the agency has employed in the past. The DOI is responsible for the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources on federal lands including the impact when developing those lands. It wants an approach to project planning that can be used across its 9 bureaus.

DOI doesn't know if its getting a fair price for minerals

The Interior Department doesn't know if it's getting fair market value for the minerals it permits private firms to remove from federal lands because staffers are using outdated price lists, an April 3 DOI inspector general report says. DOI's Bureau of Land Management manages the sale of mineral materials on federal lands and is responsible for ensuring that the government obtains adequate compensation for the sales of minerals.

Agencies failed to assess security risks at federal facilities, GAO says

Agencies with large property holdings are failing to assess security risks at their combined 52,000 facilities across the country, a recently released Government Accountability Office report says.

Hastings criticizes DOI for not cutting spending in budget request

House Natural Resources members criticized President Obama's budget request for the Interior Department for not prioritizing programs or making spending reductions.

Indian Affairs receives 1.2 increase in fiscal 2015 budget request

Indian Affairs programs received a 1.2 percent increase over the enacted amoun this year in President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget request.

Agencies resort to alternatives when appropriations don't come through for building projects

Agencies have recourse to alternative funding methods for federal building projects such as property swaps and space offered for lease when appropriations aren't available, says a March 12 Government Accountability Office report.

DOI can't match oil and gas industry salaries

Federal oil and gas inspectors will likely always earn less than the private sector engineers they oversee, DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Ned Farquhar told the House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on energy and mineral resources in a Feb. 27 hearing. Office of Personnel Management data show the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM was more than 20 percent.

White House to propose wildfire fund

The White House federal budget request for the coming fiscal year will include a proposal to establish a new wildfire fighting fund for the departments of Interior and Agriculture, the  New York Times  reports.

DOI can't retain oil and gas employees because of higher private sector rates

Higher salaries in the oil and gas industry are luring employees away from the Interior Department and the agency can't retain staff with the appropriate skills, a recently released Jan. 31 Government Accountability Office report says. Office of Personnel Management data show the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM came in at over 20 percent – more than double the average federal attrition rate of 9.1 percent.