Across the Department of the Interior (Department), collaboration is central to protecting America’s natural and cultural resources, addressing the climate crisis, and ensuring that public lands are welcoming and accessible to everyone.
Our commitment to collaboration is at the heart of President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative, a locally led, voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore 30 percent of the lands, waters, and wildlife—upon which we all depend—by 2030. The National Park Foundation’s ongoing support enables extraordinary projects like the protection of Deer Creek Beach—2.2 miles of pristine coastline that will become part of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area—to become a reality.
Increasing young people’s access to nature—early and often—will help uplift the next generation of stewards. With support from the National Park Foundation, we launched the Indian Youth Service Corps to provide meaningful education, employment, and training opportunities to Indigenous youth through conservation projects on public lands, Indian lands, and Hawaiian homelands. This is one of the many ways we are putting young people on a path to good-paying jobs while working to tackle the climate crisis.
Indigenous communities have a strong and abiding connection to the lands and waters that sustain us; these communities carry with them Indigenous Knowledge that is critical to helping us conserve our outdoor spaces. The Department is committed to improving Federal stewardship of public lands, waters, and wildlife by strengthening the role of Tribes and elevating Indigenous Knowledge in Federal land management and stewardship. We are accomplishing this work through projects like the reintroduction of critically endangered California condors to their historic range in Redwood National and State Parks. This effort, which was made possible through sustained partnership with the Yurok Tribe and was funded in part by the National Park Foundation, exemplifies the undeniable benefit that Tribal co-stewardship and Indigenous Knowledge bring to our shared vision of conservation.
Through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Department is putting people to work restoring our Nation’s lands and waters with a $2 billion down payment that builds on existing Department programs and invests in locally led landscape, partner-driven restoration. Through our recently launched Restoration and Resilience Framework, we will support coordination across agency programs and drive transformational outcomes with strategic investments. The Framework is anchored by restoration and resilience goals to guide Department funding toward collaborative, strategic, and measurable ecosystem restoration benefits.
I am so grateful for the National Park Foundation’s continued partnership as we safeguard irreplaceable lands, waters, and wildlife for future generations to steward. Thank you for being here on this journey with us.