The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U. S. About 75% of federal land is managed by the department. The Department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Interior, the current Secretary is Ryan Zinke. The Inspector General position is vacant, with Mary Kendall serving as acting Inspector General. Despite its name, the Department of the Interior has a different role from that of the ministries of other nations. In the United States, national security and immigration functions are performed by the Department of Homeland Security primarily, the Department of the Interior has often been humorously called The Department of Everything Else because of its broad range of responsibilities. A department for domestic concern was first considered by the 1st United States Congress in 1789, the idea of a separate domestic department continued to percolate for a half-century and was supported by Presidents from James Madison to James Polk. The 1846–48 Mexican–American War gave the new steam as the responsibilities of federal government grew. Polks Secretary of the Treasury, Robert J. Walker, became a champion of creating the new department. In 1849, Walker stated in his report that several federal offices were placed in departments with which they had little to do. Walker argued that these and other bureaus should be together in a new Department of the Interior. A bill authorizing its creation of the Department passed the House of Representatives on February 15,1849, the Department was established on March 3,1849, the eve of President Zachary Taylors inauguration, when the Senate voted 31 to 25 to create the Department. Its passage was delayed by Democrats in Congress who were reluctant to create more patronage posts for the incoming Whig administration to fill, the first Secretary of the Interior was Thomas Ewing. Many of the concerns the Department originally dealt with were gradually transferred to other Departments. Other agencies became separate Departments, such as the Bureau of Agriculture, however, land and natural resource management, American Indian affairs, wildlife conservation, and territorial affairs remain the responsibilities of the Department of the Interior. As of mid-2004, the Department managed 507 million acres of surface land, energy projects on federally managed lands and offshore areas supply about 28% of the nations energy production. Within the Interior Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs handles some federal relations with Native Americans, the current acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is Lawrence S. Roberts, an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin. Several cases have sought accounting of such funds from the departments of Interior, in addition, some Native American nations have sued the government over water-rights issues and their treaties with the US
The hierarchy of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Image: Department of the Interior by Matthew Bisanz
Image: Flag of the United States Department of the Interior
Image: Seal of the United States Department of the Interior