The Department of the Interior recently published a list of accomplishments by the federal agency since it was founded in March of 1849, titled “Made In America: 12 things brought to you by the Interior Department.”
“The Department of the Interior was created to take charge of the nation’s internal affairs. Interior’s diverse mission — which includes managing America’s vast natural and cultural resources, honoring our tribal relations, and supplying the nation with energy — has earned it the nickname ‘The Department of Everything Else.'”
“Nearly 170 years since it was established, Interior continues to provide invaluable services to the country. From mapping data used by companies to new technologies, Interior is developing innovations, programs and products that are Made in America and serve the public.”
Here is the list:
1. The agency supports the U.S. economy with “more than $296 billion in economic output and 1.8 million jobs in fiscal year 2015 from energy development on federal lands and waters, grazing allotments and timber sales, and recreation on public lands.”
2. Since 1879, the U.S. Geological Survey has provided important information about the Earth, including mapping the United States of America. “The agency’s maps have been used to create realistic landscapes in everything from video games like Minecraft and animated movies to drinking glasses and Google Earth.”
3. DOI created national parks in the United States, which has been dubbed “America’s Best Idea.” The first park was Yellowstone National Park.
4. “From an insulation detector that prevents generator failure to a medicinal clay that combats flesh-eating bacteria and a probe that measures temperatures in riverbeds, scientist-inventors at our bureaus are working hard everyday to solve problems and improve efficiency,” DOI is responsible for developing cutting edge technology.
5. DOI is the source for Christmas trees and other products. “The Bureau of Land Management oversees close to 65 million acres of forest and woodlands in 13 states. These forests provide food and habitat for wildlife, trails for hiking and biking, clean water for local communities, and a variety of different wood products including Christmas trees, firewood, fence posts and more.”
6. DOI has a massive museum collection, rivaling the Smithsonian Institution: 185 million objects and archives including Native American artwork and a zoology exhibit.
7. The agency has provided “more than 143 million cubic yards of sand in federal waters for coastal restoration projects in 8 states.”
8. DOI has issued stamps that have helped save wetlands through sales. “The first duck stamp was designed by J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling, an avid hunter and angler from Des Moines, Iowa,” according to DOI.
9. The Bureau of Reclamation has delivered water to more than 31 million people across the western United States.
10. Some of the iconic American movies have used public lands as a backdrop, including Forrest Gump, Star Trek V, and Independence Day.
11. Drones have been used to fight wildfires — “Prescribed (sometimes called “controlled”) burns, chemical retardants and other techniques can keep fuel from an ongoing fire, reduce future wildfire risks, and enhance the safety and effectiveness of wildfire response.”
12. American territories offer tropical vacations without leaving the United States, including American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.