Statement of Regulatory Priorities

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the principal Federal steward of our Nation's public lands and resources, including many of our cultural treasures. DOI serves as trustee to Native Americans and Alaska native trust assets and is responsible for relations with the island territories under United States jurisdiction. The Department manages more than 500 million acres of Federal lands, including 401 park units, 560 wildlife refuges, and approximately 1.7 billion of submerged offshore acres. These areas include natural resources that are essential for America's industry - oil and gas, coal, and minerals such as gold and uranium. On public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf, Interior provides access for renewable and conventional energy development and manages the protection and restoration of surface mined lands.

The Department protects and recovers endangered species; protects natural, historic, and cultural resources; manages water projects that are a lifeline and economic engine for many communities in the West; manages forests and fights wildfires; manages Federal energy resources; regulates surface coal mining operations; reclaims abandoned coal mines; educates children in Indian schools; and provides recreational opportunities for over 400 million visitors annually in the Nation's national parks, public lands, national wildlife refuges, and recreation areas.

The DOI will continue to review and update its regulations and policies to ensure that they are effective and efficient, and that they promote accountability and sustainability. The DOI will emphasize regulations and policies that:

Major Regulatory Areas

The DOI bureaus implement congressionally mandated programs through their regulations. Some of these regulatory programs include:

Regulatory Policy

The DOI's regulatory programs seek to operate programs transparently, efficiently, and cooperatively while maximizing protection of our land, resources, and environment in a fiscally responsible way by:

(1) Protecting Natural, Cultural, and Heritage Resources.

The Department's mission includes protecting and providing access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honoring our trust responsibilities to tribes. We are committed to this mission and to applying laws and regulations fairly and effectively. Our priorities include protecting public health and safety, restoring and maintaining public lands, protecting threatened and endangered species, ameliorating land- and resource-management problems on public lands, and ensuring accountability and compliance with Federal laws and regulations.

(2) Sustainably Using Energy, Water, and Natural Resources.

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the Department has focused on renewable energy issues and has established priorities for environmentally responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and the OCS. Industry has started to respond by investing in the development of wind farms off the Atlantic seacoast and solar, wind, and geothermal energy facilities throughout the West. Power generation from these new energy sources produces virtually no greenhouse gases and, when done in an environmentally responsible manner, harnesses with minimum impact abundant renewable energy. The Department will continue its intra- and inter-departmental efforts to move forward with the environmentally responsible review and permitting of renewable energy projects on public lands, and will identify how its regulatory processes can be improved to facilitate the responsible development of these resources.

In implementing these priorities through its regulations, the Department will create jobs and contribute to a healthy economy while protecting our signature landscapes, natural resources, wildlife, and cultural resources.

(3) Empowering People and Communities.

The Department strongly encourages public participation in the regulatory process and will continue to actively engage the public in the implementation of priority initiatives. Throughout the Department, individual bureaus and offices are ensuring that the American people have an active role in managing our Nation's public lands and resources.

For example, every year FWS establishes migratory bird hunting seasons in partnership with flyway councils composed of State fish and wildlife agencies. FWS also holds a series of public meetings to give other interested parties, including hunters and other groups, opportunities to participate in establishing the upcoming season's regulations. Similarly, BLM uses Resource Advisory Councils to advise on management of public lands and resources. These citizen-based groups allow individuals from all backgrounds and interests to have a voice in management of public lands.

In June 2013, NPS published the final rule revising the regulations for management of demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter in most areas of the National Park System to allow a small-group exception to permit requirements. In essence, under specific criteria, demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter involving 25 or fewer persons may be held in designated areas, without first obtaining a permit; i.e. making it easier for individuals and small groups to express their views.

Retrospective Review of Regulations

President Obama's Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to make the regulatory system work better for the American public. Regulations should "...protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation." DOI's plan for retrospective regulatory review identifies specific efforts to relieve regulatory burdens, add jobs to the economy, and make regulations work better for the American public while protecting our environment and resources. The DOI plan seeks to strengthen and maintain a culture of retrospective review by consolidating all regulatory review requirements into DOI's annual regulatory plan.[1]

In examining its existing regulations, DOI has also taken a hybrid regulatory approach, incorporating flexible, performance based standards with existing regulatory requirements where possible to strengthen safety and environmental protection across the onshore and offshore oil and natural gas industry while minimizing additional burdens on the economy. The Department routinely meets with stakeholders to solicit feedback and gather input on how to incorporate performance based standards. DOI has received helpful public input through this process and will continue to participate in this effort with relevant interagency partners as part of its retrospective regulatory review.

Under section 6 of Executive Order 13563 "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" (Jan. 18, 2011), the following Regulation Identifier Numbers (RINs) have been identified as associated with retrospective review and analysis in the Department's final retrospective review of regulations plan.


Title & RIN


Reduces burdens on small business?

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

Oil and Gas Royalty Valuation


DOI is exploring a simplified market-based approach to arrive at the value of oil and gas for royalty purposes that could dramatically reduce accounting and paperwork requirements and costs on industry and better ensure proper royalty valuation by creating a more transparent royalty calculation method.


Fish and Wildlife Service

ESA Section 7 Consultation Process; Incidental Take Statements


Court decisions rendered over the last decade regarding the adequacy of incidental take statements have prompted us, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA, Commerce), to consider clarifying our regulations concerning two aspects of issuance of incidental take statements during section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act. A proposed rule published on September 4, 2013. The proposed regulatory changes specifically address the use of surrogates to express the limit of exempted take and how to determine when deferral of an incidental take exemption is appropriate. This is a joint rulemaking with NOAA.


Fish and Wildlife Service

Regulations Governing Designation of Critical Habitat Under Section 4 of the ESA


The proposed rule would amend existing regulations governing the designation of critical habitat under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act. The proposed amendments would make minor edits to the scope and purpose, add and remove some definitions, and clarify the criteria for designating critical habitat. A number of factors, including litigation and FWS's experience over the years in interpreting and applying the statutory definition of critical habitat, have highlighted the need to clarify or revise the current regulations. This is a joint rulemaking with NOAA.


Fish and Wildlife Service

Policy Regarding Implementation of Section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act


This draft policy would articulate our position on how we consider partnerships and conservation plans, habitat conservation plans, tribal lands, military lands, and Federal lands in the exclusion process. This draft policy is meant to complement the proposed amendments to our regulations regarding exclusions from critical habitat and is intended to clarify expectations regarding critical habitat and provide for a credible, predictable, and simplified critical-habitat-exclusion process. This policy would foster clarity and consistency in the designation of critical habitat in an effort to ensure that the purposes of the Endangered Species Act are fully met. We will seek public review and comment on the proposed policy. This is a joint policy with NOAA.


Fish and Wildlife Service

ESA Section 7 Consultation Regulations; Definition of "Destruction or Adverse Modification" of Critical Habitat


The proposed rule would amend the existing regulations governing section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act to revise the definition of "destruction or adverse modification" of critical habitat. The current regulatory definition has been invalidated by the courts for being inconsistent with the language of the Endangered Species Act. The revised definition will provide the Services and Federal agencies with greater clarity in how to ensure that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat, consistent with section 7(a)(2) of the ESA. We therefore need to propose a revised definition and seek public review and comment This is a joint rulemaking with NOAA.


Bureau of Indian Affairs

Procedures for Establishing that an Indian Group Exists as an Indian Tribe


The Department is examining its regulations governing the process and criteria by which Indian groups are federally acknowledged as Indian tribes to determine how regulatory changes could increase transparency, timeliness, efficiency, and flexibility, while maintaining the integrity of the acknowledgment process.


National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Mgt), Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs

Commercial Filming on Public Lands


This joint effort between the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs has created consistent regulations and a unified DOI fee schedule for commercial filming and still photography on public land. It provides the commercial filming industry with a predictable fee for using Federal lands, while earning the Government a fair return for the use of the land. The final regulation was published on August 22, 2013. The proposed fee schedule with request for public comment was published on the same date. Following comment analyses a final fee schedule will be published.


DOI bureaus work to make our regulations easier to comply with and understand. Our regulatory process ensures that bureaus share ideas on how to reduce regulatory burdens while meeting the requirements of the laws they enforce and improving their stewardship of the environment and resources. Results include:

Bureaus and Offices within DOI

The following sections give an overview of some of the major regulatory priorities of DOI bureaus and offices.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) administers and manages 55 million acres of surface land and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals held in trust by the United States for Indians and Indian tribes, provides services to approximately 1.9 million Indians and Alaska Natives, and maintains a government-to-government relationship with the 566 federally recognized Indian tribes. BIA's mission is to enhance the quality of life, promote economic opportunity, and protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives, as well as to provide quality education opportunities to students in Indian schools.

In the coming year, BIA will continue its focus on improved management of trust responsibilities with each regulatory review and revision. BIA will also continue to promote economic development in Indian communities by ensuring the regulations support, rather than hinder, productive land management. In addition, BIA will focus on updating Indian education regulations and on other regulatory changes to increase transparency in support of the President's Open Government Initiative.

In the coming year, BIA's regulatory priorities are to:

  • Develop regulations to meet the Indian trust reform goals for rights-of-ways across Indian land.

  • Develop regulatory changes necessary for improved Indian education.

    BIA is reviewing regulations that require the Bureau of Indian Education to follow 23 different State adequate yearly progress standards; the review will determine whether a uniform standard would better meet the needs of students at Bureau-funded schools. With regard to undergraduate education, the Bureau of Indian Education is reviewing regulations that address grants to tribally controlled community colleges and other Indian education regulations. These reviews will identify provisions that need to be updated to comply with applicable statutes and ensure that the proper regulatory framework is in place to support students of Bureau-funded schools.

  • Develop regulatory changes to reform the process for Federal acknowledgment of Indian tribes.

    Over the years, BIA has received significant comments from American Indian groups and members of Congress on the Federal acknowledgment process. Most of these comments claim that the current process is cumbersome and overly restrictive. BIA is reviewing the Federal acknowledgment regulations to determine how regulatory changes may streamline the acknowledgment process and clarify criteria by which an Indian group is examined.

  • Revise regulations to reflect updated statutory provisions and increase transparency.

    BIA is making a concentrated effort to improve the readability and precision of its regulations. Because trust beneficiaries often turn to the regulations for guidance on how a given BIA process works, BIA is ensuring that each revised regulation is written as clearly as possible and accurately reflects the current organization of the Bureau. The Bureau is also simplifying language and eliminating obsolete provisions. In the coming year, the Bureau also plans to revise regulations regarding rights-of-way (25 CFR 169); Indian Reservation Roads (25 CFR 170); and certain regulations specific to the Osage Nation.

    Bureau of Land Management

    BLM manages the 245-million-acre National System of Public Lands, located primarily in the western States, including Alaska, and the 700-million-acre subsurface mineral estate located throughout the Nation. In doing so, BLM manages such varied uses as energy and mineral development, outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, and forestry and woodlands products. BLM's complex multiple-use mission affects the lives of millions of Americans, including those who live near and visit the public lands, as well as those who benefit from the commodities, such as minerals, energy, or timber, produced from the lands' rich resources. In undertaking its management responsibilities, BLM seeks to conserve our public lands' natural and cultural resources and sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In the coming year, BLM's highest regulatory priorities include:

  • Revising antiquated hydraulic fracturing regulations.

    BLM's existing regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing were promulgated over 20 years ago and do not reflect modern technology. In seeking to modernize its requirements and ensure the protection of our Nation's public lands, BLM has proposed a rule that would disclose to the public chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing on public land and Indian land, strengthen regulations related to well-bore integrity, and address issues related to flowback water.

  • Creating a competitive process for offering lands for solar and wind energy development.

    BLM is preparing a proposed rule that would establish an efficient competitive process for leasing public lands for solar and wind energy development. The amended regulations would establish competitive bidding procedures for lands within designated solar and wind energy development leasing areas, define qualifications for potential bidders, and structure the financial arrangements necessary for the process. The proposed rule would enhance BLM's ability to capture fair market value for the use of public lands, ensure fair access to leasing opportunities for renewable energy development, and foster the growth and development of the renewable energy sector of the economy.

  • Preventing waste of produced oil and gas and regulating use for beneficial purposes.

    A proposed rule would cover the prevention of waste by minimizing the amount of venting and flaring that takes place on oil and gas production facilities on Federal and Indian lands. It would also delineate which activities qualify for beneficial use of the oil and gas resource to ensure that proper royalties are paid on oil and gas removed from Federal and Trust lands.

  • Seeking public input on managing waste mine methane.

    BLM plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting information from the public that might assist the bureau in the establishment of a program to capture, use, or destroy waste mine methane from Federal coal leases and Federal leases for other solid minerals

  • Ensuring a fair return to the American taxpayer for oil shale development.

    The rule would encourage responsible development of federal oil shale resources and evaluate necessary safeguards to protect scarce water resources and important wildlife habitat while assuring a fair royalty to the American people.

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources. It is dedicated to fostering the development of both conventional and renewable energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in an efficient and effective manner, balancing the need for economic growth with the protection of the environment and conservation of the nation's scarce resources. The Bureau is committed to fostering the expansion of domestic energy production, domestic energy independence and providing essential revenues to support the economic development of the country. BOEM thoughtfully considers and balances the potential environmental impacts involved in exploring and extracting these resources. BOEM's near-term regulatory agenda will focus on a number of issues, including:

  • Expanding renewable energy resources.

    As part of President Obama's comprehensive plan to move our economy toward domestic clean energy sources, BOEM is holding offshore renewable energy lease sales for the first time in U.S. history. BOEM is preparing to develop a number of standards and criteria to facilitate the more effective use of wind turbine technology on the OCS. The Bureau is completing a rulemaking to provide additional time for applicants for renewable projects to submit certain plans for which BOEM found the regulatory timeline to be unreasonable. This is designed to provide an appropriate balance between ensuring diligent progress on our renewable energy leases and accounting for the needs of renewable energy developers.

    Two proposed rulemakings address recommendations submitted to BOEM by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and its stakeholders. Specifically, these include recommendations to: develop and incorporate state of the art wind turbine design standards and to clarify the role of Certified Verification Agents as part of the process of designing, fabricating, and installing offshore wind energy facilities for the OCS.

  • Promoting safe drilling activities on the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf

    BOEM, jointly with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), is developing proposed rules to promote safe, responsible, and effective drilling activities on the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf, while also ensuring the protection of Alaska's coastal communities and the marine environment.

  • Protecting the Environment.

    In a continuing effort to minimize the risk that oil spills will occur and that the effects of any future potential spills can be minimized and fully mitigated, BOEM is raising the limits of liability associated with future spills up to the statutory maximum. BOEM is also revising its regulations designed to oversee the Oil Spill Financial Responsibility process for which it is responsible. In addition, working in close conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Justice, BOEM is making a concerted effort to make sure that all necessary resources will be made available to address all potential contingencies of an oil spill and associated damages.

  • Updating BOEM's Air Quality Program.

    Until recently, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has exercised jurisdiction for air quality only for OCS sources operating in the Gulf of Mexico. In fiscal year 2012, Congress expanded DOI's authority by transferring to it responsibility for monitoring OCS air quality off the north coast of Alaska. In light of this change, BOEM is undertaking a thorough review of its air quality program. BOEM intends to exercise its mandate by ensuring the responsible development of natural resources in both regions by ensuring that regulations are developed to appropriately balance environmental needs and requirements against the needs for economic development. In doing this, BOEM is consulting and coordinating its efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Protecting OCS Sand, Gravel, and Shell Resources.

    In light of the continuing need to provide resources to protect the coast from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, BOEM is developing policies and goals to formally address the use of OCS sand, gravel, or shell resources funded by the Federal government. These policies are intended to ensure that necessary sand and gravel resources remain available to help communities that have been harmed by hurricanes and other disasters, so that beaches and other natural resources can effectively be restored, without adversely impacting the development of transmission lines and pipelines needed for energy development projects. Taken together, these policies will ensure that the development of renewable and conventional energy resources continues to take place in areas adjacent to key sand and gravel resource zones and that sand and gravel resources continue to be available for construction projects, shore protection, beach replenishment, or wetlands restoration purposes.

    Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

    BSEE's mission is to regulate safety, emergency preparedness, environmental responsibility and appropriate development and conservation of offshore oil and natural gas resources. BSEE's regulatory priorities are guided by the BSEE FY 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, which includes two strategic goals to focus the Bureau's priorities in fulfillment of its mission:

  • Regulate, enforce, and respond to OCS development using the full range of authorities, policies, and tools to compel safety and environmental responsibility and appropriate development of offshore oil and natural gas resources.

  • Build and sustain the organizational, technical, and intellectual capacity within and across BSEE's key functions - capacity that keeps pace with OCS industry technology improvements, innovates in regulation and enforcement, and reduces risk through systemic assessment and regulatory and enforcement actions.

    The Three-Year Strategic Plan reflects the intent of BSEE to build a bureau capable of keeping pace with the rapidly advancing technologies employed by the industry, building and sustaining its organizational, technical, and intellectual capacity, and instilling a commitment to safe practices at all levels of offshore operations, at all times. Additionally, the strategic plan incorporates BSEE's approach to address numerous recommendations contained in Government Accountability Office, Office of Inspector General (OIG), and other external reports.

    BSEE has identified the following four areas of regulatory priorities: (1) Compliance; (2) Oil Spill Response; (3) Alaska; and (4) Managing and Mitigating Risk. Among the specific regulatory priorities that will be BSEE's priorities over the course of the next year are:

  • Compliance

    BSEE will finalize revisions of its rule on production safety systems and expand the use of lifecycle analysis of critical equipment. This rule addresses issues such as subsurface safety devices, safety device testing, and expands the requirements for operating production systems on the OCS.

  • Oil Spill Response

    BSEE will update regulations for offshore oil spill response planning and preparedness. This rule will incorporate lessons learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, improved preparedness capability standards, and applicable research findings. This regulatory update will establish standards that drive owners, lessees, and operators to use all applicable tools in a system-based plan that demonstrates the ability to respond to oil spills quickly and effectively.

  • Alaska

    BSEE is working with BOEM on a joint proposed rule to promote safe, responsible, and effective drilling activities on the Alaska OCS while ensuring protection of Alaska's communities and marine environment.

  • Managing and Mitigating Risk

    BSEE will develop a proposed rule containing requirements on blowout preventers and critical reforms in the areas of well design, well control, casing, cementing, real-time monitoring, and subsea containment. This proposed rule will address and implement multiple recommendations resulting from various investigations from the Macondo blowout.

    Office of Natural Resources Revenue

    The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) will continue to collect, account for, and disburse revenues from Federal offshore energy and mineral leases and from onshore mineral leases on Federal and Indian lands. The program operates nationwide and is primarily responsible for timely and accurate collection, distribution, and accounting for revenues associated with mineral and energy production. ONRR's regulatory plan priorities for the upcoming year include:

  • Simplifying valuation regulations

    ONRR plans to simplify the regulations at 30 CFR part 1206 for establishing the value for royalty purposes of: (1) Oil and natural gas produced from Federal leases; and (2) coal and geothermal resources produced from Federal and Indian leases. Additionally, the proposed rules would consolidate sections of the regulations common to all minerals, such as definitions and instructions regarding how a payor should request a valuation determination. ONRR published Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs) to initiate the rulemaking process and to obtain input from interested parties.

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

    The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) was created by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Under SMCRA, OSM has two principal functions - the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations and the reclamation and restoration of abandoned coal mine lands. In enacting SMCRA, Congress directed OSM to "strike a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for coal as an essential source of energy." In response to its statutory mandate, OSM has sought to develop and maintain a stable regulatory program that is safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sound. A stable regulatory program ensures that the coal mining industry has clear guidelines for operation and reclamation, and that citizens know how the program is being implemented.

    OSM's Federal regulatory program sets minimum requirements for obtaining a permit for surface and underground coal mining operations, sets performance standards for those operations, requires reclamation of lands and waters disturbed by mining, and requires enforcement to ensure that the standards are met. OSM is the primary regulatory authority for SMCRA enforcement until a State or Indian tribe develops its own regulatory program, which is no less effective than the Federal program. When a State or Indian tribe achieves "primacy," it assumes direct responsibility for permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities under its federally approved regulatory program. The regulatory standards in Federal program states and in primacy states are essentially the same with only minor, non-substantive differences. Today, 24 States have primacy, including 23 of the 24 coal producing States. OSM's regulatory priorities for the coming year will focus on:

  • Stream Protection.

    Protect streams and related environmental resources from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations; and

  • Coal Combustion Residues.

    Establish Federal standards for the beneficial use of coal combustion residues on active and abandoned coal mines.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. FWS also helps ensure a healthy environment for people by providing opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and our shared natural heritage.

    FWS fulfills its responsibilities through a diverse array of programs that:

    Over the course of the next year, FWS regulatory priorities will include:

  • Critical habitat regulations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    FWS will issue rules to clarify definitions of "critical habitat" and "destruction or adverse modification," to improve our consultation process in regard to issuing incidental take statements, and otherwise make improvements to the process of critical habitat designation.

  • Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act regulatory reform.

    In an effort to promote renewable energy while carrying out our responsibility to protect certain species of birds, we will finalize our proposal to revise our regulations for permits for nonpurposeful take of eagles. By proposing to extend the maximum term for programmatic permits to 30 years, as long as certain requirements are met, we will facilitate the development of renewable energy projects that are designed to be in operation for many decades.

  • Protecting refuges.

    We will issue a proposed rule to ensure that all operators conducting oil or gas operations on NWRS lands do so in a manner that prevents or minimizes damage to the lands, visitor values, and management objectives.

  • Making regulations more user-friendly.

    We will issue rules to amend the format of the ESA lists to make them more user-friendly for the public, to correct errors in regard to taxonomy, to include rules issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service for marine species, and to more clearly describe areas where listed species are protected.

    National Park Service

    NPS preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values within more than 400 units of the National Park System encompassing nearly 84 million acres of lands and waters for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. NPS also cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the United States and the world.

    To achieve this mission NPS adheres to the following guiding principles:

    NPS' regulatory priorities for the coming year include:

  • Managing Off Road Vehicle Use

    (1) Curecanti National Recreation Area: A proposed rule published in July of 2013. The rule would designate routes and areas within Curecanti National Recreation Area where off-road vehicles (ORVs) and snowmobiles will be allowed within the recreation area. ORV use will primarily occur below the high water line of the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The rule also would provide for designation of new snowmobile access points and designates snowmobile routes from the access points to the frozen surface of the Blue Mesa Reservoir.

    (2) Fire Island National Seashore: The rule would define applicable terms, designates driving routes, driving conditions, and establishes permit conditions for ORV use within Fire Island National Seashore.

    (3) Wrangell St.-Elias National Preserve: The rule would (i) designate trails in the Nabesna District of Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve where ORVs may be used for recreational purposes; (ii) impose ORV size and weight restrictions; and (iii) close areas to ORV use for subsistence purposes in designated wilderness.

    (4) Lake Meredith NRA: The rule would designate ORV routes, addresses required safety equipment, speed limits and clarifies ORV use for the benefit of NPS personnel and the public.

    (5) Glen Canyon NRA: The rule would authorize ORV use, designate routes and areas, and establish criteria for operation of ORVs.

  • Managing Bicycling

    NPS rules would authorize and manage designate bicycles routes and allow for management of bicycle use on designated routes at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, New River Gorge National River, Chattahoochee NRA, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area.

  • Implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

    (1) A rule will correct inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the 43 CFR part 10 regulations, implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which have been identified by or brought to the attention of the Department of the Interior.

    (21) A new rule would establish a process for disposition of Unclaimed Human Remains and Funerary Objects discovered after November 16, 1990, on Federal or Indian Lands.

    (2) A rule revising the existing regulations would describe the NAGPRA process in plain language with clear time parameters, eliminate ambiguity, clarify terms, and include Native Hawaiians in the process. The rule would eliminate unnecessary requirements for museums and would not add process or new information collection.

  • Regulating non-Federal oil and gas activity on NPS land

    The rule would account for new technology and industry practices, eliminate regulatory exemptions, update new legal requirements, remove caps on bond amounts, and allow the NPS to recover compliance costs associated with administering the regulations.

    Bureau of Reclamation The Bureau of Reclamation's mission is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. To accomplish this mission, we employ management, engineering, and science to achieve effective and environmentally sensitive solutions. Reclamation projects provide: Irrigation water service, municipal and industrial water supply, hydroelectric power generation, water quality improvement, groundwater management, fish and wildlife enhancement, outdoor recreation, flood control, navigation, river regulation and control, system optimization, and related uses. We have continued to focus on increased security at our facilities. As we undertake our responsibilities, we are continually reviewing the regulations and policies that govern our work and considering potential improvements to streamline our processes while protecting our nation's water resources and the environment.

    [1] DOI conducts regulatory review under numerous statutes, Executive orders, memoranda, and policies, including but not limited to the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and the DOI Departmental Manual.