The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nation's principal conservation
agency. Its mission is to protect America's natural resources, offer recreation
opportunities, conduct scientific research, conserve and protect fish and
wildlife, and honor our trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaskan
Natives, and our responsibilities to island communities.
DOI manages 500 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the
land in the United States, and manages hundreds of dams and reservoirs.
Agencies within the DOI include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Minerals
Management Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The DOI manages the
national parks and is tasked with protecting endangered species.
The Secretary of the Interior oversees about 70,000 employees and 200,000
volunteers on a budget of approximately $16 billion. Every year it raises
billions in revenue from energy, mineral, grazing, and timber leases, as well
as recreational permits and land sales.