U.S. Department of the Interior: An Overview

U.S. Department of the Interior: An Overview
June 23, 2021
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department responsible
for the administration of lands, minerals, and other resources of the United States. DOI
Mark K. DeSantis
describes its mission as protecting and managing the nation’s natural resources and
Analyst in Natural
cultural heritage for the benefit of the American people; providing scientific and
Resources Policy
scholarly information about those resources and natural hazards; and exercising the

nation’s trust responsibilities and special commitments to American Indians, Alaska

Natives, and island territories under U.S. administration.
As part of its responsibilities, DOI oversees roughly 420 mil ion acres of federal lands, nearly 55 mil ion acres of
tribal lands, more than 700 mil ion acres of subsurface minerals, and about 2.5 bil ion acres of the outer
continental shelf. Each year, Congress deliberates legislation that could affect DOI’s management of this vast
federal estate. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of DOI’s various agencies and offices can be valuable
when crafting legislation that affects the department’s structure, operations, programs, and funding.
DOI primarily implements its responsibilities and mission through various bureaus that make up more than 90%
of the agency’s workforce. These bureaus are the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Indian Education
(BIE), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of
Reclamation (Reclamation), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), National Park Service
(NPS), Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Each bureau has a unique mission and set of responsibilities, as wel
as an organizational structure designed to meet its functional duties. In addition to these bureaus, DOI has
multiple departmental offices that are responsible for other programs and provide leadership, coordination, and
services to DOI’s various bureaus and programs.
The names, structures, and responsibilities of DOI and its various bureaus and offices have evolved since the
establishment of DOI in 1849. These changes and evolutions are regularly subject to congressional oversight and
executive branch examination. In recent years, Congress has considered numerous executive branch proposals on
DOI organization and management, including the transfer of programs between various agencies and offices, the
creation of new offices and/or bureaus, and the consolidation of DOI boundaries across agencies.
In December 2020, DOI employed a staff of 60,634 nationwide across its bureaus and offices, according to the
Office of Personnel Management (OPM). DOI employment figures fluctuate throughout the year, in part because
some bureaus increase seasonal and part-time staff during the summer months. OPM reports the average total
DOI employment as 63,175 for the four reporting periods from March 2020 to December 2020. The largest
bureau within DOI based on number of staff is NPS, which averaged nearly 19,000 employees during 2020—
nearly twice the size of the second-largest bureau, BLM. The smal est bureau by employment is OSMRE, which
averaged fewer than 400 employees.
Congress provides discretionary appropriations for DOI through two annual appropriations bil s: the Interior,
Environment, and Related Agencies bil and the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies bil . From
FY2017 to FY2021, total DOI appropriations increased 13% in current dollars. Enacted discretionary
appropriations for FY2021 totaled $15.4 bil ion.

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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
Establishment of the Department: A Brief History ................................................................ 2
DOI Today: Leadership, Structure, and Functions ................................................................ 4
Leadership................................................................................................................ 5
Recent DOI Reorganization Plans, Proposals, and Issues for Congress............................... 6
Department-Wide Reorganization Plan .................................................................... 7
DOI Bureaus: History, Missions, and Current Structures .................................................. 9
Bureau of Indian Affairs ...................................................................................... 10
Bureau of Indian Education.................................................................................. 11
Bureau of Land Management ............................................................................... 12
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ................................................................... 14
Bureau of Reclamation........................................................................................ 15
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement................................................... 16
National Park Service ......................................................................................... 17
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement .......................................... 18
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.............................................................................. 19
U.S. Geological Survey ....................................................................................... 21
Departmental Offices and Programs ........................................................................... 22
Office of the Secretary ........................................................................................ 22
Office of the Solicitor ......................................................................................... 23
Office of the Inspector General............................................................................. 23
Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (Office of the Special Trustee for American

Indians).......................................................................................................... 23
Office of Insular Affairs ...................................................................................... 24
DOI Employment Levels................................................................................................ 24
Overview of DOI Appropriations..................................................................................... 27
DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2017-FY2021 .................................................... 27
DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2021, by Agency ................................................ 28

Figures
Figure 1. Timeline of Selected DOI Agency Establishments and Reorganizations...................... 3
Figure 2. DOI Organizational Chart of Bureaus and Selected Offices ...................................... 4
Figure 3. Unified Interior Regional Boundaries.................................................................... 9
Figure 4. DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2017-FY2021 ............................................ 27
Figure 5. DOI Discretionary Appropriations for FY2021, by Agency .................................... 29

Tables
Table 1. DOI Employment Trends, by Agency ................................................................... 25
Table 2. DOI Employment: Inside vs. Outside Washington, DC............................................ 26

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Contacts
Author Information ....................................................................................................... 29


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Introduction
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department responsible for the
conservation and use of approximately two-thirds of the estimated 640 mil ion acres of federal
land. DOI defines its mission as to protect and manage the nation’s natural resources and cultural
heritage for the benefit of the American people; to provide scientific and scholarly information
about those resources and natural hazards; and to exercise the country’s trust responsibilities and
special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and island territories under U.S.
administration.1 Initial y conceived as a “home department” in 1849 to oversee a broad array of
internal affairs,2 DOI has evolved to become the nation’s principal land management agency,
charged with administering roughly 420 mil ion acres of federal lands, nearly 55 mil ion acres of
tribal lands, more than 700 mil ion acres of subsurface minerals, and about 2.5 bil ion acres of the
outer continental shelf (OCS).3
As is the case for many federal departments, Congress examines DOI’s organizational structure
and functions as part of its lawmaking and oversight functions. Similarly, DOI’s executive branch
structure and operations are a subject of scrutiny and analysis by various Administrations. Over
the course of the department’s roughly 170-year history, DOI has evolved in response to the
needs of the nation and at the behest of Congress and the President. (See Figure 1 for a timeline
of selected events that influenced the current structure of the department.) Some of these changes
have been relatively broad in nature, such as the creation of a new agency or regulatory body.
Other changes have been smal er in scope, such as reorganizations of resources or responsibilities
among offices or programs.4
This report is a primer to understanding the organizational framework under which DOI operates,
and it provides context for how ongoing and potential future reorganizations might affect these
operations. First, the report provides a timeline of congressional and executive actions that have
shaped the structure and function of DOI since its establishment. It includes an overview of
DOI’s history, mission, and current structure, as wel as recent and ongoing reorganization
actions. Next, the report provides more detailed information on the mission, leadership, and
regional office structure of DOI’s bureaus and selected offices.5 The report then details staffing
levels for the department, including a breakdown of staff located inside and outside the
Washington, DC, duty station. Final y, it relates the annual discretionary appropriations for the
department and each of its agencies over the last five years (FY2017-FY2021), with a focus on

1 Department of the Interior (DOI), 2020/2021 Annual Performance Plan & 2019 Report (APP&R) , p. 3, at
https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/final-appr-03312020_0.pdf (last accessed September 17, 2020).
2 Robert M. Utley and Barry Mackintosh, The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History (U.S.
Department of the Interior, 1989), at https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/utley-mackintosh/. Hereinafter
referred to as Utley and Mackintosh, Departm ent of Everything Else.
3 For data and other information on federal land management, see CRS Report R42346, Federal Land Ownership:
Overview and Data
, by Carol Hardy Vincent and Laura A. Hanson , and CRS Report R43429, Federal Lands and
Related Resources: Overview and Selected Issues for the 117th Congress
, coordinated by Katie Hoover. For a brief
summary of the responsibilities of DOI land management agencies, see CRS In Focus IF10585, The Federal Land
Managem ent Agencies
, coordinated by Katie Hoover. T he outer continental shelf (OCS) is defined by statute as all
submerged lands lying seaward of state coastal waters (3 nautical miles offshore generally) which are under U.S.
jurisdiction (43 U.S.C. §1301).
4 For a more complete discussion of the history and legal authority pertaining to executive branch reorganization, see
CRS Report R44909, Executive Branch Reorganization, by Henry B. Hogue.
5 References in this report to DOI “offices” refer to selected offices only.
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FY2021. In general, this report contains the most recently available data and estimates as of
March 2021. A list of CRS experts for DOI bureaus is at the end of the report.
Establishment of the Department: A Brief History
Prior to the establishment of DOI in 1849, Congress apportioned domestic affairs in the United
States across the three original executive departments: Department of State, Department of War
(now Department of Defense), and Department of the Treasury.6 The Department of State housed
the nation’s Patent Office, and the Department of War housed the Office of Indian Affairs and the
Pension Office, which at the time administered pensions solely for military personnel.7
Meanwhile, the General Land Office (GLO), which oversaw and disposed of the public domain,
was placed by Congress within the Department of the Treasury because of the revenue generated
by the GLO from land sales.8
By the 1840s, the growing federal estate acquired through the Louisiana Purchase, the Mexican-
American War, and the newly negotiated Oregon Territory placed an increasing burden on the
departments and their leadership.9 In 1848, then-Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker
submitted to Congress a proposal that would bring together GLO, the Office of Indian Affairs,
and several other disparate offices and functions under a single, separate executive department.10
Congress official y established the Department of the Interior on March 3, 1849.11
In addition to absorbing the functions of the Patent Office, the Office of Indian Affairs, the
Pension Office, and GLO, the newly established DOI assumed responsibility for a wide range of
other domestic matters. As part of DOI’s organic legislation, Congress conferred on the Secretary
of the Interior the “supervisory and appel ate powers” held by the President over the
commissioner of Public Buildings, as wel as oversight responsibility for both the U.S. Census
and the Penitentiary of the District of Columbia.12 Over time, Congress further expanded the
department’s functions to include the construction of the national capital’s water system, the
colonization of freed slaves in Haiti, water pollution control, and the regulation of interstate
commerce.13 Most of these early activities eventual y were transferred from DOI’s charge as
Congress began to authorize and create new executive departments and independent agencies to
handle this growing list of responsibilities. By the 20th century, DOI had evolved to focus
primarily on protecting and managing natural resources; conducting scientific research; and
exercising the nation’s trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated
island communities.

6 T he Department of State (initially established as the Department of Foreign Affairs) was created in 1781 (1 Stat. 28).
T he Department of War (1 Stat.49) and Department of the Treasury (1 Stat. 65) each were established eight years later,
in 1789.
7 Utley and Mackintosh, Department of Everything Else.
8 T he General Land Office Act (2 Stat. 716), April 25, 1812, created the General Land Office (GLO) in the Department
of the T reasury to “ superintend, execute, and perform, all such acts and things, touching or respecting the public lands
of the United States,” including those functions formerly vested in the Secretaries of War and State.
9 John T . Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The Presidency A to Z, 5th ed. (CQ Press, 2012), p. 315.
10 Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch, ed. Michael Nelson, 5th ed. (CQ Press, 2012).
11 9 Stat. 395.
12 9 Stat. 395, §§7-10.
13 DOI, “History of the Interior,” at https://www.doi.gov/whoweare/history (last accessed December 2020).
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U.S. Department of the Interior: An Overview

Figure 1. Timeline of Selected DOI Agency Establishments and Reorganizations

Source: Congressional Research Service (CRS). See relevant subsections within this report for individual
citations.
Notes: *The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (P.L. 1024) created the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the agency
formerly known as the Fish and Wildlife Service.
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U.S. Department of the Interior: An Overview

DOI Today: Leadership, Structure, and Functions
DOI is a Cabinet-level department that employs approximately 63,000 full-time employees across
multiple bureaus and other offices.14 In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, DOI has
staff in roughly 2,400 locations across the United States, including regional offices and field
locations.15 Each of DOI’s bureaus and offices has a unique mission and set of responsibilities, as
wel as a distinct organizational structure that serves to meet its functional duties. Figure 2 shows
the DOI organization chart as of March 2021.
Figure 2. DOI Organizational Chart of Bureaus and Selected Offices

Source: CRS, using information from DOI Office of the Secretary: Department-Wide Programs, Budget
Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021
, pp. OS-1, at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/
fy2021-budget-justification-os-dwp.pdf, and information in the explanatory text of the Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260), Congressional Record, vol. 166, no. 218, book IV (December 21, 2021), p.

14 U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), FedScope database, Employment cubes, Cabinet -Level Agencies
parameter set to Department of the Interior, at https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/. T he data reflect “ on-board
employment” figures based on the number of employees in pay status at the end of the quarter. Data are published on a
quarterly basis (March, June, September, and December). T otal employment figures in this report reflect the average
employment totals for the four reported quarters for 2020 (March 2020, June, 2020, September 2020, and December
2020).
15 Department of the Interior (DOI), Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022, at https://www.doi.gov/sites/
doi.gov/files/uploads/fy2018-2022-strategic-plan.pdf.
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H8537. Additional information provided via personal communication between CRS and DOI Office of Legislative
Affairs, April 27, 2021.
Notes: Figure reflects DOI organizational chart as of this report; however, the organization and reporting status
of bureaus and offices are subject to change and may be currently under review. The order of bureaus and
offices is not intended to reflect a given hierarchy within DOI. CFO = Chief Financial Officer. The Assistant
Secretary—Policy, Management and Budget serves as the DOI’s CFO. The FY2020 Interior Appropriations law
approved the Administration’s proposal to establish the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) as an independent
bureau. See explanatory statement accompanying H.R. 1865 (enacted as P.L. 116-94) at House debate,
Congressional Record, vol. 165, no. 204, book III (December 17, 2019), p. H11289. Congress now provides funding
to BIE separately from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and DOI considers BIE as an independent bureau from
BIA. Also, effective October 1, 2020, many of the trust responsibilities previously performed by the Office of the
Special Trustee for American Indians were transferred to a newly established Bureau of Trust Funds
Administration (BTFA), according to DOI. This change is reflected with a dashed arrow. However, Congress
indicated that it “does not accept the Department’s decision to move forward” with the creation of the BTFA.16
The special trustee and the principal deputy special trustee continue to report directly to the Secretary. For
more information on the status of this reorganization, see “Recent DOI Reorganization Plans, Proposals, and
Issues for Congress.

Leadership
The leadership team and senior
executives of DOI provide oversight
DOI Presidential Appointees Requiring
and guidance for the department’s
Senate Confirmation
various offices, bureaus, and field
Secretary
locations. The department is
Deputy Secretary
administered and overseen by the
Assistant Secretary—Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Secretary of the Interior (referred to in
Assistant Secretary—Insular Affairs
this report as the Secretary) and a
Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management
Deputy Secretary, who serves in a
Assistant Secretary—Policy, Management, and Budget
leadership capacity under the
Assistant Secretary—Water and Science
Secretary. The President appoints both
Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs
positions, and the U.S. Senate confirms
Chairman, National Indian Gaming Commission
them. (See text box for a full list of
DOI appointees requiring Senate
Special Trustee for American Indians
confirmation.) Serving under the
Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
Secretary and Deputy Secretary are six
Director, Bureau of Land Management
Assistant Secretaries, who oversee
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
DOI’s bureaus and administrative and
Director, National Park Service
programmatic offices. (See Figure 2
Director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
for these position titles and
Director, U.S. Geological Survey
responsibilities.)17
Inspector General
In addition to the Secretary, the Deputy
Solicitor
Secretary, and the six Assistant
Source: U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Government
Secretaries, DOI has other
Policy and Supporting Positions (Plum Book), 116th Cong., 2nd sess.,
congressional y mandated leadership
committee print, December 1, 2020 (Washington: GPO, 2020).
positions. Similar to other Cabinet-
level agencies, DOI has an inspector general to provide oversight of DOI’s programs, operations,

16 Explanatory text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260), Congressional Record, vol. 166, no.
218, book IV (December 21, 2021), p. H8537.
17 43 U.S.C. §§1452-1476.
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and management.18 The DOI solicitor heads the Office of the Solicitor, which provides legal
counsel, advice, and representation for the department.19 The special trustee for American Indians
is responsible for overseeing the management of financial assets of American Indians held in trust
by DOI. Final y, the chairperson of the National Indian Gaming Commission oversees an
independent regulatory body within DOI responsible for administering and promoting economic
development through gaming on Indian lands.20 Similar to the special trustee, the chairperson of
the commission operates in an independent capacity separate from the Assistant Secretary—
Indian Affairs (AS-IA).
Recent DOI Reorganization Plans, Proposals, and
Issues for Congress
Congress uses a variety of tools—including authorizing legislation, appropriations legislation,
and oversight activities—to shape and organize the executive branch and its agencies.21 Often,
changes are made through internal office transfers and/or budget realignments approved by
Congress through the appropriations process. In other cases, Congress has considered more
extensive executive branch reorganization efforts that have broader operational implications for
an agency or for the department as a whole (see “Department-Wide Reorganization Plan”).
In recent years, Congress has considered, made, or approved several changes to DOI and its
organizational structure. In addition, some changes to DOI and its agencies have been proposed
for FY2021 but may not yet be in effect or are stil under consideration.
The 115th Congress approved several internal office transfers and realignments, including the
transfer of appropriations for the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) from DOI’s
Office of the Secretary to Department-Wide Programs.22 In addition, the 116th Congress approved
the consolidation of ethics staffing and funds from across DOI to the Departmental Ethics Office
in the Office of the Solicitor, essential y implementing proposals put forth by DOI in the FY2021
budget justification and by the Secretary as part of Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3375.23
In 2016, Congress enacted legislation related to the reorganization of the Office of the Special
Trustee for American Indians (OST).24 The Indian Trust Asset Reform Act (ITARA) directed the
Secretary of the Interior to—among other things—“ensure that appraisals and valuations of
Indian trust property are administered by a single bureau, agency, or other administrative entity
within the Department” not later than 18 months after enactment.25 Congress subsequently
approved a transfer of the Office of Appraisal Services within OST to the Office of the

18 Inspector General Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-452, 92 Stat. 1101).
19 60 Stat. 312, 43 U.S.C. §1455.
20 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, P.L. 100-497, 102 Stat. 2469, 25 U.S.C. §2704.
21 For a more complete discussion of Congress’s constitutional responsibility in establishing the structural organization
of the executive branch, see CRS Report R44909, Executive Branch Reorganization, by Henry B. Hogue.
22 DOI, Interior Budget in Brief—Fiscal Year 2018, p. BH-91, at https://edit.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/
2018_highlights_book.pdf.
23 DOI, Secretary of the Interior, Order No. 3375, “Improving the Department of the Inter ior’s Ethics Programs
T hrough Consolidation,” August 14, 2019. For the proposed transfer, see DOI, Interior Budget in Brief—Fiscal Year
2021
, p. DH-32, at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/2021-highlights-book.pdf; proposal was enacted as
part of P.L. 116-260.
24 P.L. 114-178.
25 25 U.S.C. §5635a.
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Secretary’s Appraisal and Valuation Services Office, thereby consolidating al appraisal activities
within a single entity.26
In addition to this transfer, the FY2019 and FY2020 budget justifications for OST proposed to
transfer OST from the Office of the Secretary to the Office of the AS-IA, wherein OST would
report to the AS-IA rather than directly to the Secretary (see Figure 2).27 In submitting OST’s
budget request for FY2021, DOI included a proposal to transfer many of the trust responsibilities
performed by the OST to a newly established Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA).28
On August 31, 2020, the then-Secretary of the Interior signed S.O. 3384, which effectuated this
transfer of duties and established the BTFA (effective October 1, 2020). On the effective date, al
functions and personnel previously under OST were transferred to BTFA, according to DOI. Per
S.O. 3384, the BTFA is led by a director, who reports directly to the AS-IA, whereas the positions
of the special trustee and the principal deputy special trustee continue to report separately to the
Secretary.29 According to DOI, although the positions of special trustee and principal deputy
special trustee stil exist, they are no longer fil ed as of the publication of this report.30
In the explanatory language for the FY2021 Interior Appropriations Act, Congress stated that it
“does not accept the Department’s decision to move forward with its budget proposal to create
[the] BTFA without waiting for the resolution of the proposal through the fiscal year 2021
appropriations process and over the clear objections of the House of Representatives.”31 Congress
further expressed that it “expected that the incoming Administration wil perform its own analysis
of its trust responsibilities under the 1994 Act and subsequent legislation and that committees of
jurisdiction, including the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, wil consider any
proposals to address the future disposition of OST without prejudice.”32 (For more information,
see “Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (Office of the Special Trustee for American
Indians).”33
Department-Wide Reorganization Plan
The Trump Administration also proposed broader DOI reorganization activities. In March 2017,
President Trump signed an executive order cal ing on agency leaders to, “if appropriate,” submit a

26 T he Administration’s proposal can be found at Office of the Special T rustee for American Indians (OST ), Budget
Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2019 , OST -1, at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/
uploads/fy2019_ost_budget_justification.pdf. Congress approved the transfer as part of the FY2019 Interior
appropriations law (see H.Rept. 116-9).
27 OST , Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2019 , OST -1-2.
28 Bureau of T rust Funds Administration (BT FA; formerly Office of the Special T rustee for American Indians), Budget
Justifications and Perform ance Inform ation Fiscal Year 20 21,
BT FA-5.
29 DOI, Secretary David Bernhardt, Secretarial Order 3384, Creation of the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration and
Realignm ent of the Office of the Special Trustee for Am erican Indians, Land Buy -Back Program for Tribal Nations,
and Office of Historical Trust Accounting
, August 31, 2020.
30 Personal communication between CRS and DOI Office of Legislative Affairs, April 27, 2021.
31 Explanatory text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260), Congressional Record, vol. 166, no.
218, book IV (December 21, 2021), p. H8537. T he text also states, “ The decision to transfer the functions of OST
wholesale into a new bureau also raises questions about whether it is consistent with provisions of the 1994 Indian
T rust Reform Management Act (P.L. 103-412), which created OST on a temporary basis until the completion of certain
trust reforms, or with the existing transition plan for OST proposed by the Administration and adopted by Congress in
fiscal year 2019.”
32 Ibid.
33 According to DOI, the Secretary has the legal authority under the Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950 to create the
BT FA. DOI considers the establishment of the BT FA finalized as of October 1, 2020.
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proposed reorganization plan for their agencies to the director of the Office of Management and
Budget within 180 days.34 In September 2017, then-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued a
reorganization proposal for DOI in response to this order. Included in this proposal was a plan to
consolidate the different regional boundaries of each DOI bureau into 12 Unified Interior
Regional Boundaries. In August 2018, DOI official y announced the designation of its 12 new
Unified Interior Regional Boundaries (see Figure 3).35 According to DOI, the BIA, BIE, and OST
were excluded from this realignment and retained their existing regional boundaries.36
In addition to the consolidation of regional boundaries, the plan sought to shift some resources “to
the field,” potential y in the form of staff, budget, and/or facilities.37 In FY2019, Congress
appropriated funds for the reorganization of BLM, FWS, NPS, USGS, and Reclamation.38 The
Administration’s request indicated that this funding was intended to support the establishment of
the new Unified Interior Regional Boundaries and to “shift some BLM, FWS, and Reclamation
headquarters staff to the West.”39
As part of the broader DOI reorganization effort, the Trump Administration announced plans to
relocate most BLM positions and personnel based in Washington, DC, to BLM state offices
across the West and to establish a new BLM headquarters office in Grand Junction, CO. The
Administration cited potential benefits of the move, including cost savings from lower office
lease payments and travel costs, as wel as enhanced integration of policy and operations
personnel, understanding of western needs, decisionmaking in the field, and partnerships with
communities and organizations. The relocation was controversial, with some stakeholders raising
concerns around the costs of relocation, a loss of expertise due to senior staff who did not
relocate, a possible decline in staff diversity, and potential difficulty for BLM leadership to
coordinate with DOI management. On August 10, 2020, the Secretary of the Interior signed S.O.
3382, which formal y established the new Grand Junction headquarters office.40

34 Executive Order 13781, “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch,” 82 Federal Register 13959-
13960, March 13, 2017.
35 DOI, “ Establishment of Unified Regional Boundaries for the Department of the Interior ,” August 29, 2018, at
https://www.doi.gov/employees/reorg/establishment -unified-regional-boundaries-department -interior (accessed in
March 2021).
36 DOI, “Interior Reorganization,” at https://www.doi.gov/employees/reorg (accessed in March 2021).
37 Ibid.
38 Congress appropriated $14.1 million for the reorganization of the Bureau of Land Management ( BLM), U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) through Interior,
Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations laws (see H.Rept. 116-9). T he accompanying report does not
identify the portion of the appropriation for each of the five agencies. T he FY2019 request also sought $3.4 million for
the reorganization of Reclamation. It appears as though this request was approved as part of the Energy and Water
Development Appropriations bill (P.L. 115-244); however, neither the bill language nor the accompanying report
specifies funding for reorganization purposes.
39 DOI, The Interior Budget in Brief Fiscal Year 2019, p. DH-26.
40 DOI, Secretary of the Interior, Order No. 3382, “Establishment of the Bureau of Land Management’s Headquarters
in Grand Junction, CO,” August 10, 2020.
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Figure 3. Unified Interior Regional Boundaries

Source: DOI, “Unified Interior Regional Boundaries,” at https://www.doi.gov/employees/reorg/unified-regional-
boundaries (last accessed April 7, 2021).
DOI Bureaus: History, Missions, and Current Structures
Various bureaus comprising more than 90% of the DOI workforce contribute to implement the
department’s mission and responsibilities.41 The names, structures, and duties of these bureaus
have evolved over time in accordance with both administrative actions and changes in the
authorities provided to them by Congress. Below is a brief overview of each bureau, including the
historical context within which it was created, its organizational structure, and its current mission
and responsibilities.
Bureaus appear below in alphabetical order. An “At a Glance” box provides a snapshot of key
information and data for each bureau. The “Established” date reflects the year in which a bureau
was created, which in some cases predates the bureau’s assignment to DOI. The “Key Statute”
listed may represent the initial legislative authorization for a bureau to carry out its regulatory
duties, or it may reference an agency’s organic act, which articulates its mission and/or
responsibilities. This information does not reflect the full list of governing statutes for DOI
bureaus, as each bureau is subject to numerous laws. The “Average Staff” listed for each bureau
reflects the 2020 average of four reporting periods (from March 2020 to December 2020), with
employment figures rounded to the nearest hundred, as reported to the Office of Personnel
Management (OPM). DOI employee data are discussed in more detail in the section “DOI
Employment Levels.

41 Calculation based on OPM Fedscope data.
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For most agencies, the accompanying map shows an overlay of two different types of boundaries:
the 12 newly designated unified regional boundaries denoted with numbers 1-12 (as shown in
Figure 3) and the traditional individual agency boundaries denoted in different colors.42
Boundaries for the BIA, BIE, and two agencies that administer offshore energy development
(BOEM and BSEE) show individual agency boundaries only, because they were not included in
the newly designated unified regional boundaries, as noted. Although applicable DOI agencies are
operating with the unified regional boundaries, their individual boundaries may stil reflect
regional office jurisdictions and reporting structures for some agency purposes.
Bureau of Indian Affairs
At a Glance: Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
Established: 1824
Key Statute: Snyder Act of 1921 (42 Stat. 208)
Mission
: “To enhance the quality of life, to promote
economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to
protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians,
Indian Tribes, and Alaska Natives.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 7,100 (including staff from the Bureau of
Indian Education)**
Regions:
Unified Regions: N/A

Agency Regions: 12 (colored)
Source: *Bureau of Indian Affairs, “About Us,” at https://www.bia.gov/about-us.
Notes: **OPM Fedscope data. This figure includes employees of both BIA and BIE , as Fedscope does not distinguish
between the two bureaus. The FY2021 budget justifications for BIA and BIE estimated roughly 4,000 and 2,500 ful -
time-equivalent staff, respectively, for FY2020, as distinct from the on-board employment as reported in Fedscope.
Established in 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the oldest bureau within DOI,
predating the department by 25 years. Then-Secretary of War John C. Calhoun established the
Office of Indian Affairs within the War Department to help centralize what was at the time a
fractured administrative approach to Indian policy and relations in the United States.43 It was not
until 1832 that Congress official y recognized the Office of Indian Affairs as a bureau of the War
Department by establishing a commissioner to oversee the agency.44 The Office of Indian Affairs
was transferred to DOI in 1849, when the department was created. DOI formal y adopted the
name Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1947.45

42 Unless otherwise noted, the individual agency boundaries are shown as they existed prior to the August 2018
establishment of the unified regional boundaries.
43 William S. Belko, “John C. Calhoun and the Creation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: An Essay o n Political Rivalry,
Ideology, and Policymaking in the Early Republic,” The South Carolina Historical Magazine 105, no. 3 (2004), p. 194,
at http://www.jstor.org/stable/27570693.
44 From an act dated July 9, 1832, ch. 174, §1, 4 Stat. 564.
45 T he Office of Indian Affairs was redesignated the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by Secretarial Order No. 2362.
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BIA provides services to federal y recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and their
nearly 2 mil ion members.46 These services include disaster relief and road construction, as wel
as the operation and funding of law enforcement, tribal courts, and detention facilities, among
others. The bureau is also responsible for protecting and administering assets on tribal lands,
including the management of 55 mil ion surface acres and 59 mil ion acres of subsurface mineral
estates held in trust by the United States.47
The BIA is administered by a director who oversees the agency’s functions and reports to the
Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. Similar to other DOI agencies, the BIA has a three-tiered
organizational structure, with leadership and senior executives operating from headquarters in
Washington, DC, and 12 regional offices that oversee 85 field offices (referred to as agencies by
the BIA); these agencies deliver program services directly to tribal communities.48
Bureau of Indian Education49
At a Glance: Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)
Established: 2006
Key Statute: Snyder Act of 1921 (42 Stat. 208)
Mission
: “To provide quality education opportunities
from early childhood through life in accordance with a tribe’s
needs for cultural and economic wel -being, in keeping with the
wide diversity of Indian tribes and Alaska Native vil ages as
distinct cultural and governmental entities.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 7,100 (including staff from the Bureau of
Indian Affairs)**
Regions:

Unified Regions: N/A
Agency Regions: 12 (colored)
Source: *Bureau of Indian Education, “About Us,” at https://www.bia.gov/about-us.
Notes: **OPM Fedscope data. This figure includes employees of both BIA and BIE , as Fedscope does not distinguish
between the two bureaus. The FY2021 budget justifications for BIA and BIE estimated roughly 4,000 and 2,500 ful -
time-equivalent staff (not on-board employment), respectively, for FY2020.
BIA previously was responsible for managing the bureau’s elementary, secondary, and
postsecondary schools and for supporting additional Indian education activities through BIA’s
Office of Indian Education Programs. In 2006, the Secretary of the Interior separated the BIA
education programs from the rest of BIA and placed them in a new Bureau of Indian Education
(BIE).50 However, both BIA and BIE were funded as part of DOI’s broader Indian Affairs budget
until FY2020, when the two bureaus were funded separately.

46 Figures provided to CRS by DOI, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, June 2021.
47 BIA, “What We Do,” at https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots/what-we-do.
48 DOI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021 , p. IA-RES-5,
at https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/obpm/BIA_FY2021_Greenbook-508.pdf.
49 For a more complete discussion of BIE and its various duties, see CRS Report RL34205, Indian Elementary-
Secondary Education: Program s, Background, and Issues
, by Cassandria Dortch.
50 DOI, Indian Affairs, Budget Justifications Fiscal Year 2008, pp. IA-EDUC-5 to -6.
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For FY2020, the Trump Administration proposed funding BIE independently from BIA and
submitted a separate budget justification for each bureau.51 In proposing a separate budget
structure for BIE, the Administration sought to “strengthen BIE as an independent bureau with a
separate budget structure to advance ongoing BIE reforms to Cimprove learning and student
outcomes” and to reduce overlapping functions between BIA and BIE to “better deliver services
to schools, maximize efficiency, and build capacity within BIE.”52 In the explanatory language for
the FY2020 Interior Appropriations law, Congress approved the establishment of BIE as an
independent bureau with a separate budget structure from BIA.53
The BIE education system serves approximately 46,000 students through 169
elementary/secondary schools and 14 dormitories located in 23 states, as wel as 1,500 students
through 2 postsecondary institutions in 2 states.54 BIE-funded elementary and secondary schools
may be operated directly by the bureau, by tribes and tribal organizations, or through a
cooperative agreement with a public school district. BIE also supports public school students, 29
tribal y controlled colleges and universities, and two tribal technical colleges. BIE is administered
by a director, who oversees the bureau’s functions and reports to the Assistant Secretary of Indian
Affairs.
Bureau of Land Management
At a Glance: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Established: 1946
Key Statute: Federal Land Policy and Management Act of
1976 (90 Stat. 2744)
Mission:
“To sustain the health, diversity and
productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present
and future generations.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Grand Junction, CO
Average Staff: 9,700
Regions:
Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)

Agency Regions: 12 (colored)
Source: *BLM, “Our Mission,” at https://www.blm.gov/about/our-mission.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was created in 1946, following the merger of DOI’s
General Land Office (GLO) and the U.S. Grazing Service, known previously as the Division of
Grazing Control and subsequently as the Division of Grazing.55 BLM manages 244 mil ion acres

51 T he budget justifications for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education are located on the DOI
website at https://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2020.
52 DOI, Fiscal Year 2020: The Interior Budget in Brief, p. BH-95.
53 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, committee
print, 116th Cong., 2nd sess., January 2020 (Washington: GPO, 2020), p. 604.
54 DOI, Bureau of Indian Education, Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021 , p. BIE-ES-
1 and BIE-OIEP-6, at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/fy2021-budget -justification-bie.pdf. T he three-
year average daily student estimate (referred to as “Average Daily Membership”) is roughly 41,000.
55 DOI, Secretary Harold L. Ickes, Secretarial Order 2225, July 15, 1946. Implemented as part of Reorganization Plan
No. 3 of 1946 (11 Federal Register 7875, 60 Stat. 1097), effective July 16, 1946. T he GLO, created by Congress in
1812, helped convey lands to pioneers settling western lands in the early 19 th century. T he U.S. Grazing Service (then
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of public landroughly 10% of the total U.S. land area. The vast majority of this land (more than
99%) is located in 12 western states, including Alaska.56 The agency also is responsible for more
than 700 mil ion acres of the federal onshore subsurface mineral estate and provides technical
supervision of mineral development on about 59 mil ion acres of BIA mineral estate.57 BLM
manages public lands under the dual framework of multiple use and sustained yield, as required
under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.58 These uses include a wide range
of activities, such as energy and mineral development, livestock grazing, and recreation.
In 2020, BLM relocated its primary headquarters from Washington, DC, to a new office in Grand
Junction, CO (see “Department-Wide Reorganization Plan” for more information). The new BLM
headquarters is home to the agency’s leadership, which provides strategic direction and oversight
of BLM’s national-level activities. BLM has indicated that about 60 positions from programs
with “inherently DC-based responsibilities, like legislative, regulatory and public affairs, budget,
and Freedom of Information Act compliance, as well as the Deputy Director for Policy and
Programs” wil remain in the Washington, DC, area.59 In addition to the Grand Junction, CO, and
Washington, DC, offices, 12 state offices—which are akin to the regional office structure of other
agencies—carry out BLM’s mission within their respective geographical areas of jurisdiction.60
Reporting to these 12 state offices are numerous district offices, which are further divided into
localized field offices. Field offices oversee the day-to-day management of public land resources
and the on-the-ground delivery of BLM programs and services. BLM also has several national-
level support and service centers.

known as the Division of Grazing Control) was established in 1934 to administer grazing on public rangelands. (T aylor
Grazing Act, 48 Stat. 1269.)
56 BLM, Public Land Statistics 2019 (as of June 2020), T able 1-4, at https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/
PublicLandStatistics2019.pdf. Hereinafter referred to as “ BLM, Public Land Statistics 2019.”
57 BLM, Public Land Statistics 2019.
58 Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C. §§1701, et seq. FLPMA defines multiple
use
as “ ... the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the
combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people ... ” and sustained yield as “ ... the
achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high -level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable
resources of the public lands consistent with mult iple use” (43 U.S.C. §1702(h)). Although BLM was established in
1946, FLPMA is considered the agency’s organic act, as it consolidated and articulated the agency’s responsibilities.
59 BLM, “Headquarters Move West,” at https://www.blm.gov/office/national-office/hq-move-west (accessed on May
11, 2021).
60 43 C.F.R. §1821.10a.
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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
At a Glance: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Established: 2011
Key Statute: Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 (67
Stat. 462)
Mission: “To manage development of U.S. outer
continental shelf energy and mineral resources in an
environmental y and economical y responsible way.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 600
Regions:
Unified Regions: N/A

Agency Regions: 4 (colored)
Source: *BOEM, “About BOEM,” at https://www.boem.gov/About-BOEM/.
Established in 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manages development of
the nation’s energy and mineral resources on nearly 2.5 bil ion acres of the U.S. outer continental
shelf (OCS).61 The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) of 1953 defines the OCS as al
submerged lands lying seaward of state coastal waters that are subject to federal jurisdiction.62
Under OCSLA, the Secretary of the Interior has the authority to manage the development of the
OCS.63
Prior to BOEM’s establishment, the Secretary delegated the leasing and management authority
granted by OCSLA to the DOI agency known as the Minerals Management Service (MMS).64
During its existence, MMS had three primary responsibilities concerning offshore development:
resource management, safety and environmental oversight and enforcement, and revenue
collection. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spil in 2010, concerns about perceived conflicts
between these three missions prompted then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to reorganize
the agency. MMS was formal y dissolved, and three new units were established within DOI:
BOEM, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Office of Natural
Resource Revenue (ONRR).
The agency’s leadership—led by a director—is headquartered in Washington, DC, and divides
itself among three programmatic offices covering strategic resource programs, offshore renewable
energy programs, and environmental analysis and science. Meanwhile, regional offices oversee

61 Although the order dividing the Minerals Management Service (MMS) into three separate entities was issued in
2010, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was not formally established until October 1, 2011. Prior to
that, an interim agency known as t he Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was in place.
For more information, see BOEM, “T he Reorganization of the Former MMS,” at https://www.boem.gov/about-boem/
reorganization/reorganization-former-mms.
62 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953, 42 U.S.C. §§1331-1356b. T he definition of the outer continental shelf
(OCS) is at 43 U.S.C. §1331(a).
63 For a discussion of state and federal waters, see CRS Report RL33404, Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal
Fram ework
, by Adam Vann.
64 Secretarial Order 3071, January 19, 1982, established the MMS following a number of hearings and investigations
into allegations of fraud, lack of oversight, and inadequate collection of royalties from oil and gas production on federal
lands and the OCS.
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on-the-ground operations and policy implementation in the four OCS regions in the Atlantic, the
Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and Alaska.65
Bureau of Reclamation
At a Glance: Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation)
Established: 1902
Key Statute: Reclamation Act of 1902 (32 Stat. 338)
Mission: “To manage, develop, and protect water and
related resources in an environmental y and economical y
sound manner in the interest of the American public.”*
Leadership: Commissioner
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Denver, CO (administrative)
Average Staff: 5,300
Regions:

Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)
Agency Regions: 6 (colored)
Source: *Bureau of Reclamation, “About Us—Mission/Vision,” at https://www.usbr.gov/main/about/mission.html.
Notes: This map reflects the agency regional boundaries for the Bureau of Reclamation as of March 2021. Prior to
2018, Reclamation had five agency regions; however, the agency added a sixth region and revised regional
boundaries to align with the new unified regional boundary structure.
In 1902, Congress passed the Reclamation Act, which set aside federal dollars to fund irrigation
projects and large-scale dam construction in the arid and rapidly expanding western United
States.66 Shortly thereafter, Congress established the U.S. Reclamation Service as a program
within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In its first five years, the service began work on more
than 30 projects across the American West. In 1907, the Secretary of the Interior elevated the
program to an independent bureau within DOI before renaming it the Bureau of Reclamation
(Reclamation) in 1923.67 Since its establishment, Reclamation has constructed or overseen the
construction of more than 600 dams and reservoirs across the western United States.68
Beneficiaries of reclamation projects general y repay the costs for construction and operations of

65 BOEM, Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021, p. 83, at https://www.boem.gov/sites/
default/files/documents/about-boem/budget/FY%202021%20Budget%20Justification.pdf. T he Gulf of Mexico,
California, and Alaska regions are managed from offices in New Orleans, LA; Camarillo, CA; and Anchorage, AK,
respectively. BOEM’s Office of Renewable Energy Programs based in Sterling, VA, oversees wind and water
development in t he Atlantic OCS region. T he Gulf of Mexico Regional Office oversees oil and gas activities in the
Atlantic OCS; however, no active OCS oil and gas leases exist in the region, nor are there any proposed lease sales
under the proposed Five-Year Leasing Program 2017-2022.
66 Newlands Reclamation Act, P.L. 57-161, 32 Stat. 388 (enacted June 17, 1902). Initially, the Reclamation Act set
aside funding for projects across 13 western states. Over time, Reclamation expanded the number of states within
which it worked. Reclamation now manages projects constructed by the agency in 17 states (referred to as Reclam ation
states
): AZ, CO, CA, ID, KS, MT , NE, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, T X, UT , WA, WY.
67 Mary C. Rabbitt, A Brief History of the United States Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1975, pp.
3-4, at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70039204. Hereinafter referred to as Rabbitt, United States Geological
Survey
.
68 Reclamation, “About Us,” at https://www.usbr.gov/main/about/.
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these facilities to the federal government over extended terms (in some cases without interest).
The exception are costs deemed “federal” in nature, as federal costs are nonreimbursable.69
Although Reclamation original y focused almost entirely on building new water storage and
diversion projects, the agency now largely focuses on the operation and maintenance of existing
facilities.70 Reclamation’s mission also has expanded to include support for other efforts to
improve water supplies in the western United States, such as promoting water reuse and recycling
efforts, desalination projects, and Indian water rights settlements.
A presidential y appointed commissioner oversees the work of Reclamation and, along with other
senior-level executives, manages the overal operations of the agency from its headquarters in
Washington, DC. Due to the number of projects and employees based in western states,
Reclamation also maintains federal offices in Denver, CO, which administer many of
Reclamation’s programs, initiatives, and activities. These programs include efforts that address
dam safety, flood hydrology, fisheries and wildlife resources, and research programs that seek to
improve management and increase water supplies. In addition, six regional offices manage
Reclamation’s water projects and oversee various local area offices responsible for the day-to-day
operations of the nearly 180 projects currently under the agency’s authority.71
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
At a Glance: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
Established: 2011
Key Statute: Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953
(67 Stat. 462)
Mission: “To promote safety, protect the
environment, and conserve resources offshore through
vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 800
Regions:
Unified Regions: N/A

Agency Regions: 4 (colored)
Source: *BSEE, “About Us,” at https://www.bsee.gov/about-bsee.
Following the 2011 restructuring of MMS (see “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management”), the
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) inherited the safety and environmental
enforcement functions previously carried out by MMS.72 These functions are primarily concerned
with the offshore energy industry on the OCS—largely oil and natural gas production. BSEE’s

69 Nonreimbursable costs include costs allocated to fish and wildlife enhancement and recreation, among other things.
For more information on Reclamation project rep ayment, see CRS In Focus IF10806, Bureau of Reclam ation Project
Authorization and Financing
, by Charles V. Stern.
70 For a more comprehensive discussion of Reclamation’s functions and responsibilities, see CRS Report R46303,
Bureau of Reclam ation: History, Authorities, and Issues for Congress, by Charles V. Stern and Anna E. Normand.
71 T he regional offices are the Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region, Missouri Basin Region, Upper Colorado Basin
Region, Lower Colorado Basin Region, California-Great Basin Region, and Arkansas-Rio Grande-T exas Gulf Region.
72 See footnote 61.
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responsibilities include regulation of worker safety, emergency preparedness, environmental
compliance, and resource conservation.73
BSEE is administered by a director based out of the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
The agency also has a second headquarters location in Sterling, VA, that oversees many of
BSEE’s national programs and provides technical and administrative support for the bureau.74 To
carry out the duties of the department, BSEE coordinates between leadership in these two
locations and staff operating across three regional offices (serving Alaska, the Pacific, and the
Gulf of Mexico OCS regions),75 and five Gulf Coast district offices (Houma, Lafayette, Lake
Charles, and New Orleans, LA, and Lake Jackson, TX).76 Senior leadership sets the policies and
performance goals implemented at these local offices across the agency’s six national programs.77
National Park Service
At a Glance: National Park Service (NPS)
Established: 1916
Key Statute: National Park Service Organic Act of 1916
(39 Stat. 535)
Mission: “To preserve unimpaired the natural and
cultural resources and values of the National Park System for
the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future
generations.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 18,900
Regions:
Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)

Agency Regions: 7 (colored)
Source: *NPS, “About Us,” at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/index.htm.
In 1916, the National Park Service Organic Act (Organic Act) centralized administration of the
nation’s national parks and national monuments. With the Organic Act, Congress created the
National Park Service (NPS) and established the agency’s dual mandate—to protect the country’s
natural and cultural resources while providing for their public use and enjoyment.78 In
undertaking that mission, NPS administers approximately 80 mil ion acres of federal land,
including 423 units that comprise the National Park System across al 50 states and U.S.
territories.

73 Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), “What We Do,” at https://www.bsee.gov/what-we-do.
74 BSEE, “Our Organization,” at https://www.bsee.gov/about-bsee/our-organization.
75 T he Gulf of Mexico Regional Office oversees activities for the Atlantic OCS region.
76 BSEE shares regional offices in New Orleans, LA, Camarillo, CA, and Anchorage, AK, with BOEM staff .
77 BSEE, “National Programs,” at https://www.bsee.gov/about-bsee/our-organization/national-programs. T hese
programs are Oil Spill Preparedness Program, Environmental Compliance Program, National Investigations Program,
Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs, National Enforcement Program, and Office of Administration.
78 39 Stat. 535.
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A park superintendent oversees each NPS unit and manages day-to-day administration in
accordance with both the agency’s mission and any laws and regulations specific to the unit.79
These units and their leadership report to seven regional directors, who oversee park management
and program implementation across geographic regions. At the national level, NPS is led by a
director and senior executives who manage national programs, policy, and budget from the
agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC.80
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
At a Glance: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
Established: 1977
Key Statute: Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
of 1977 (91 Stat. 445)
Mission: “To ensure that coal mines are operated in a
manner that protects citizens and the environment during
mining and assures that the land is restored to beneficial use
fol owing mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by
aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Average Staff: 400
Regions:

Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)
Agency Regions: 3 (colored)
Source: *OSMRE, “Our Mission and Vision,” at https://www.osmre.gov/about/MissionVision.shtm.
Notes: OSMRE Western Region works with three tribal partners to carry out the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act (SMCRA): the Crow Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, and the Navajo Nation. These partners are
represented by the dark blue sections of the Regional Map above but do not together comprise a separate region.
States colored in grey are non-primacy states with no ongoing coal mining operations.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) was established as a
bureau within DOI following passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
(SMCRA) in 1977.81 The law authorized the new agency to carry out and administer a nationwide
program to regulate coal mining in the United States. Under SMCRA, OSMRE provides grants to
states and tribal communities to reclaim abandoned coal mines.82 It also regulates active surface
coal mining operations to minimize adverse impacts to the environment and local communities.83

79 NPS park superintendents sometimes are responsible for managing mult iple units based on size, capacity, and
geographic proximity.
80 NPS, “Organizational Structure of the National Park Service,” at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/organizational-
structure.htm.
81 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), P.L. 95-87, 91 Stat. 507, 30 U.S.C. §§1201-1328 (enacted
August, 3, 1977).
82 For more information, see CRS Report R46266, The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund: Reauthorization Issues in
the 116th Congress
, by Lance N. Larson.
83 For more information, see CRS Report R46610, Reclamation of Coal Mining Operations: Select Issues and
Legislation
, by Lance N. Larson.
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In addition, SMCRA authorizes OSMRE to issue federal payments to the United Mine Workers of
America coal mineworker health and pension benefits plans.84
OSMRE serves as the lead regulatory authority over surface coal mining and reclamation
activities for states and tribal communities under the authority granted by Title V of SMCRA.85
SMCRA does, however, al ow OSMRE to delegate regulatory primacy to states and tribes upon
demonstration that a given state or tribe has established regulatory requirements consistent with
federal standards.86 OSMRE operates in an oversight capacity for primacy states. To date, no tribe
has attained this delegated authority.87
OSMRE fulfil s its missions through a three-tiered organizational structure: headquarters in
Washington, DC; three regional offices (Appalachian, Mid-continent, and Western); and multiple
area and field offices that report directly to the regional offices.88
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
At a Glance: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Established: 1940
Key Statute: Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (70 Stat. 1120)
Mission: “To conserve, protect and enhance fish,
wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit
of the American people.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Fal s Church, VA
Average Staff: 8,300
Regions:
Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)

Agency Regions: 8 (colored)
Source: *FWS, “About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” at https://www.fws.gov/help/about_us.html.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the principal federal agency tasked with the
conservation, protection, and restoration of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats across the United
States and its insular territories. The history of FWS can be traced back to the creation of two
now-defunct agencies in the late 1800s: the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries in the
Department of Commerce and the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy in the
Department of Agriculture.89 The successors to these two agencies were subsequently transferred
to DOI in 1939 and subsequently consolidated, creating a single agency known at the time as the

84 30 U.S.C. §1232. For more information, see CRS In Focus IF11370, Health and Pension Benefits for United Mine
Workers of Am erica Retirees: Recent Legislation
, by John J. T opoleski.
85 30 U.S.C. §1254.
86 30 U.S.C. §1253.
87 OSMRE, “Non-Primacy States and T ribes,” at https://www.osmre.gov/programs/AMLIS/nonPrimacyST .shtm.
88 OSMRE, “Who We Are,” at https://www.osmre.gov/about.shtm.
89 For a more complete discussion of the history of FWS, see CRS Report R45265, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: An
Overview
, by R. Eliot Crafton.
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Fish and Wildlife Service.90 In 1956, Congress passed the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, which
established the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.91
The FWS has a primary-use mission “to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants
and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”92 Among its responsibilities,
FWS manages the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) pursuant to the National Wildlife
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 as wel as other statutes.93 The NWRS is a network of
lands and waters set aside to conserve the nation’s fish, wildlife, and plants that has grown to
include more than 560 refuges, 38 wetland management districts, and other protected areas. More
than 836 mil ion acres of lands and waters comprise the NWRS; of these lands and waters, 146
mil ion acres are classified as National Wildlife Refuges.94
In addition, FWS, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in
the Department of Commerce, is responsible for implementing the Endangered Species Act
(ESA).95 The purpose of the ESA is to protect species that are in danger of becoming extinct or
could be in danger of becoming extinct in the near future.96 FWS also assists in international
conservation efforts, enforces federal wildlife laws, and administers grant funds to states and
territories for fish and wildlife programs.
Similar to most DOI agencies, FWS has a three-tiered organizational structure composed of
national, regional, and local field offices across the United States. The headquarters office—led
by an agency director—is split between two locations in Washington, DC, and Fal s Church, VA,
which together have primary responsibility for policy formulation and budgeting across the
agency’s program areas.97 Eight regional offices oversee FWS field offices and science centers
across the United States and U.S. territories, which implement these policies and programs at the
local level.98

90 Reorganization Plan Number III of 1940, 5 U.S.C Appendix —Reorganization Plans.
91 Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 70 Stat. 1119, 16 U.S.C. §742a.
92 FWS, “About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” at https://www.fws.gov/help/about_us.html.
93 National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, P.L. 89-669, 16 U.S.C. §§668dd et seq. (Note:
Congress later passed the National Wildlife Refuge System Im provement Act in 1997 [P.L. 105-57, 111 Stat. 1252],
which amended the 1966 law by establishing the refuge system’s mission and providing what is considered to be the
organic legislation for its management by FWS). While the Administration Act provided for consolidation of the
system, other statues also provide authority for certain system activities.
94 T he 836 million acres that comprise the National Wildlife Refuge System also include waterfowl production areas,
coordination areas, and more than 685 million acres of national m onument areas that are located outside National
Wildlife Refuge boundaries. T hese national monument areas are National Wildlife Refuge System lands and
submerged lands and waters within portions of four marine national monuments that are managed or co -managed by
FWS pursuant to presidential proclamations. T hese national monuments were established under the authority granted
by the Antiquities Act (54 U.S.C. §320301).
95 Act of December 28, 1973, P.L. 93-205, 87 Stat. 884. 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1544.
96 16 U.S.C. §1531(b). For a more complete discussion of the ESA, see CRS Report R46677, The Endangered Species
Act: Overview and Im plem entation
, by Pervaze A. Sheikh, Erin H. Ward, and R. Eliot Crafton .
97 FWS, “About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services,” at https://www.fws.gov/help/about_us.html.
98 FWS, “Offices,” at https://www.fws.gov/offices.
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U.S. Geological Survey
At a Glance: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Established: 1879
Key Statute: Organic Act of 1879 (20 Stat. 394)
Mission: “To serve the Nation by providing reliable
scientific information to describe and understand the Earth;
minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters;
manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and
enhance and protect our quality of life.”*
Leadership: Director
Headquarters: Reston, VA
Average Staff: 7,900
Regions:
Unified Regions: 12 (numbered)

Agency Regions: 7 (colored)
Source: *USGS, “Who We Are,” at https://www.usgs.gov/about/about-us/who-we-are.
In 1878, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report to Congress asking Congress to
provide a plan for surveying and mapping the western territories of the United States.99 In
response, Congress passed an appropriations bil the following year that authorized the creation of
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Congress established the USGS for the express purpose of
overseeing the “classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure,
mineral resources, and products of the national domain.”100 The authorities and responsibilities of
USGS have shifted and evolved over time, with many of its prior activities leading to the
formation of new governmental agencies.101 Today, however, USGS serves as the science agency
of DOI, providing physical and biological information across five mission areas: (1) water
resources, (2) energy and mineral resources, (3) natural hazards, (4) core science systems, and (5)
ecosystems.102 Unlike other DOI bureaus, USGS has no regulatory or land management mandate.
A presidential y appointed director based out of the agency’s headquarters in Reston, VA,
administers USGS and oversees seven regional directors across the country. In addition to
regional offices, USGS operates science centers, laboratories, and field offices that monitor,
assess, and conduct research on a wide range of topics.103

99 Rabbitt, United States Geological Survey.
100 Sundry Civil Expenses bill, passed on March 3, 1879, 43 U.S.C. §31.
101 Rabbitt, United States Geological Survey. T he Bureau of Reclamation, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation
and Enforcement, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are among the modern -day agencies that can trace
their roots to USGS and its prior work.
102 For a more complete discussion of the history and programs of USGS, see CRS In Focus IF11433, The U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS): FY2021 Appropriations Process and Background
, by Anna E. Normand. T he FY2021
budget request proposed restructuring mission areas and reorganizing programs under mission areas. In the FY2021
appropriations act, Congress reduced USGS mission areas from six to five by eliminating the Land Resources mission
area and transferring its programs and funding to other mission areas.
103 USGS, “About—Organization,” at https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization.
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Departmental Offices and Programs104
DOI has multiple departmental offices that provide leadership, coordination, and services to the
department’s various bureaus and programs. These offices coordinate department-wide activities
and oversee specialized functions under DOI’s jurisdiction not administered directly at the bureau
level.
Office of the Secretary
The Office of the Secretary provides leadership for the entire department through the
development of policy and through executive oversight of the annual budget and appropriations
process. The Office of the Secretary also manages the administrative operations of DOI, including
(but not limited to) financial services, information technology and resources, acquisition, and
human resources. In addition, the Office of the Secretary manages other department-wide
programs, offices, and revolving funds, including the following:
Central Hazardous Materials Fund provides remediation services to national
parks, national wildlife refuges, and other DOI-managed lands impacted by
hazardous substances. This remediation process follows the guidelines
established under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA)—also known as the Superfund statute.105
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program coordinates and
oversees DOI’s restoration efforts for DOI-managed lands impacted by oil spil s
or the release of hazardous substances. In partnership with federal, state, and
tribal co-trustees, the program conducts damage assessments, planning, and
restoration implementation on DOI lands.
Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) is responsible for the collection,
accounting, and verification of any natural resource and energy revenue
generated from federal and Indian leases and royalty payments. (See “Bureau of
Ocean Energy Management”
section for the history behind ONRR’s creation.)
Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program makes payments to approximately
1,900 local government units across the United States and its insular areas where
certain federal lands are located. The PILT payments are intended to help offset
the loss in property taxes to local governments caused by the presence of federal
lands, which largely are exempt from taxation.106
Wildland Fire Management program is responsible for addressing wildfires on
public lands. The program comprises of the Office of Wildland Fire and the four

104 T his section does not represent all DOI divisions and programs. Instead, it reflects the offices and programs included
as discrete line items under the Departmental Offices and Department -Wide Programs accounts funded through the
annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill (see “ Overview of DOI Appropriations” section
for more information). OST is discussed here; however, FY2021 appropriations were requested and provided as part of
the Indian Affairs account. Prior to FY2021, appropriations for (OST typically were provided as part of the
Departmental Offices account.
105 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, P.L. 96-510,
approved December 11, 1980. 42 U.S.C. §§9601 et seq. For a more complete discussion of CERCLA, see CRS Report
R41039, Com prehensive Environm ental Response, Co m pensation, and Liability Act: A Sum m ary of Superfund Cleanup
Authorities and Related Provisions of the Act
, by David M. Bearden.
106 For a more complete discussion of the Payments in Lieu of T axes program , see CRS Report R46260, The Payments
in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program : An Overview
, by R. Eliot Crafton.
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DOI land management bureaus with wildland fire management responsibilities
(BIA, BLM, FWS, and NPS).107
Working Capital Fund (WCF) is a revolving fund that finances centralized
administrative services and systems to DOI bureaus and offices.108 The WCF
aims to reduce duplicative systems and staff across DOI; it provides financing for
centralized functions that provide payroll, accounting, information technology,
and other support services.
Office of the Solicitor
In 1946, Congress established the Office of the Solicitor to provide advice, counsel, and legal
representation to DOI.109 To accomplish this work, the Office of the Solicitor employs more than
500 employees, 400 of whom are licensed attorneys.110 The Office of the Solicitor is organized
into the Immediate Office of the Solicitor, the Departmental Ethics Office, the Departmental
FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Office, the Indian Trust Litigation Office, six legal divisions,
an administrative division, and eight regional offices.111
Office of the Inspector General
In 1978, Congress established inspector general positions and offices in more than a dozen
specific departments and agencies, including DOI.112 The mission of the Office of the Inspector
General (OIG) is to provide independent oversight and accountability to the department’s
programs, operations, and management. In addition to the Immediate Office of the Inspector
General, the OIG has five offices: the Office of Management; the Office of Investigations; the
Office of Audits, Inspections, and Evaluations; the Office of General Counsel; and the Office of
Strategic Programs.113 The OIG operates from a headquarters office in Washington, DC, and
regional offices located in Herndon, VA; Atlanta, GA; Lakewood, CO; Bil ings, MT; and
Sacramento, CA.114
Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (Office of the Special Trustee for
American Indians)

The status and operation of the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (OST has been an
issue of congressional interest in recent years. According to DOI, the Bureau of Trust Funds
Administration (BTFA) currently performs the functions of the OST.115 The American Indian

107 Reclamation also has limited responsibility to manage land under its jurisdiction for wildfires. For a more complete
discussion of federal wildfire programs, see CRS In Focus IF10732, Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and
Recovery
, by Katie Hoover.
108 43 U.S.C. §1467 authorized the creation of the working capital fund in the Department of the Interior.
109 43 U.S.C. §1455, June 26, 1946, ch. 494, 60 Stat. 312.
110 Statement taken from the Office of the Solicitor website at https://www.doi.gov/solicitor (accessed February 3,
2021).
111 Office of the Solicitor, “ About the Office of the Solicitor,” at https://www.doi.gov/solicitor/about (May 2021).
112 Inspector General Act of 1978, 92 Stat. 1101, P.L. 95-452.
113 DOI, Office of the Inspector General, “ OIG Offices,” at https://www.doioig.gov/about-us/oig-offices.
114 DOI, Office of the Inspector General, “ Contact Us,” at https://www.doioig.gov/contact-us.
115 Personal communication between CRS and DOI Office of Legislative Affairs, April 27, 2021.
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Trust Fund Management Reform Act established the OST in 1994.116 The OST provided fiduciary
oversight and management of the more than 55 mil ion surface acres and 59 mil ion subsurface
mineral acres of tribal assets held in trust by the federal government.117 The office carried out its
mission from a national office in Washington, DC, and through five regional offices across the
nation.118 On October 1, 2020, DOI transferred many of the trust responsibilities performed by the
OST to a newly established BTFA, pursuant to S.O. 3384. DOI considers the BTFA operational;
however, Congress has expressed concerns regarding the creation of the BTFA (see “Recent DOI
Reorganization Plans, Proposals, and Issues for Congress
” for more information). For the
purposes of this report, CRS has treated the establishment of the BTFA as operational.
Office of Insular Affairs
The United States acquired its first insular territories in 1898 with the annexation of the Hawai an
Islands and the acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines from Spain following the
Spanish-American War.119 For much of the early 20th century, territorial oversight of these new
possessions fel largely to the War Department. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created
the Division of Territories and Island Possessions to centralize responsibility for coordinating
oversight of the nation’s insular regions.120 The division—now known as the Office of Insular
Affairs—currently administers federal oversight of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin
Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, with the goal of promoting their
economic, social, and political development.121 The office also administers federal assistance and
U.S. economic commitments to the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia,
the Republic of the Marshal Islands, and the Republic of Palau.122
DOI Employment Levels
In 2020, the average number of employees working for DOI was 63,175, according to OPM. (See
Table 1.)123 The data reflect on-board employment figures, which are based on the number of
employees in pay status at the end of the quarter. Data are published on a quarterly basis (March,
June, September, and December). Data in this report reflect December 2020 figures, unless

116 P.L. 103-412, 108 Stat 4239.
117 Bureau of T rust Funds Administration (BT FA), “About Us,” at https://www.doi.gov/ost/about_us (accessed on
February 4, 2021). T he DOI website refers to the OST as the BT FA.
118 OST , “OST Organization Chart ” at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/ost_org_chart_08-03-
17_revised.pdf.
119 Utley and Mackintosh, Department of Everything Else.
120 Executive Order 6726, “Establishing the Division of T erritories and Island Possessions in the Department of the
Interior and T ransferring T hereto the Functions of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, Pertaining to the
Administration of the Government of Puerto Rico,” May 29, 1934.
121 Office of Insular Affairs, Budget Justifications and Performance Information Fiscal Year 2021, at
https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/oia-2021-greenbook-final.pdf.
122 Under the Compacts of Free Association, the Freely Associated States (FAS) are considered sovereign nations
whose citizens are eligible for various U.S. federal programs and services in exchange for full international defense
authority by the United States. For a more complete discussion of FAS policies, see CRS Report R44753, The Pacific
Islands: Policy Issues
, by T homas Lum and Bruce Vaughn.
123 OPM is an independent agency that functions as the central human resources department of the executive branch
and is a primary source for data and information regarding DOI employment figures—as well as the entire federal
workforce. For a more complete discussion of OPM data, see CRS Report R43590, Federal Workforce Statistics
Sources: OPM and OMB, by Julie Jennings and Jared C. Nagel.
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otherwise specified. Because OPM data include full-time, part-time, and seasonal staff,
employment totals tend to spike during the summer months, when agencies such as NPS and
BLM increase their seasonal workforce.
OPM figures differ from DOI Budget Office data. The DOI Budget Office calculates employment
by full-time equivalents, defined as the total number of regular straight-time hours (not including
overtime or holiday hours) worked by employees, divided by the number of compensable hours
applicable to each fiscal year.124
Table 1. DOI Employment Trends, by Agency
(on-board employment totals)
Average
Agency
Mar. 2020
June 2020
Sep. 2020
Dec. 2020
2020
Bureau of Land Management
8,838
10,713
10,540
8,887
9,745
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management
562
563
571
574
568
Bureau of Reclamation
5,319
5,339
5,350
5,306
5,329
Bureau of Safety & Environmental
Enforcement
758
768
768
777
768
Indian Affairs
7,115
7,180
7,138
7,040
7,118
National Park Service
16,744
20,971
20,785
17,069
18,892
Office of the Inspector General
259
261
268
265
263
Office of the Secretary of the
Interior
3,393
3,418
3,411
3,446
3,417
Office of the Solicitor
493
494
516
529
508
Office of Surface Mining
348
351
356
353
352
Reclamation & Enforcement
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
8,103
8,291
8,414
8,399
8,302
U.S. Geological Survey
7,802
7,868
7,996
7,989
7,914
Total—Department of the
Interior

59,734
66,217
66,113
60,634
63,175
Source: U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), FedScope database, Employment cubes, Cabinet-Level
Agencies parameter set to Department of the Interior, at https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/. Data accessed from
FedScope on April 14, 2021.
Notes: Numbers reflect employees on board (in a pay status). Figures may not add up to totals shown due to
rounding. “Indian Affairs” includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
Per information provided to CRS from DOI, “Office of the Secretary of the Interior” includes employees from
the Office of Insular Affairs, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, and the various Assistant
Secretary Offices that oversee DOI bureaus and agencies.
The OPM Fedscope data presented in Table 1 are available by location of employment for
each bureau and office reflected. Table 2 shows DOI employment figures both within and
outside of the “District of Columbia” location parameter. OPM defines “Location” as the

124 For comparison, the FY2021 Interior Budget in Brief (Appendix H) estimated employment of 60,939 full-time
equivalents (FT Es) for FY2021 and 61,593 FT Es in FY2019.
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official duty station of an employee;125 this does not capture the number of employees who
may work in the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area or at DOI agency headquarters
locations in the surrounding region.126 For example, FWS staff working from the agency’s
headquarters in Fal s Church, VA, are not counted under the District of Columbia “Location”
parameter.
Table 2. DOI Employment: Inside vs. Outside Washington, DC
(as of December 2020)
Total
Agency
Inside DC
Outside DC
Employment
% Inside DC
Bureau of Land Management
85
8,802
8,887
1%
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
35
539
574
6%
Bureau of Reclamation
46
5,260
5,306
1%
Bureau of Safety & Environmental
Enforcement
34
743
777
4%
Indian Affairs
64
6,976
7,040
1%
National Park Service
1,017
16,052
17,069
6%
Office of the Inspector General
32
233
265
12%
Office of the Secretary of the Interior
754
2,692
3,446
22%
Office of the Solicitor
242
287
529
46%
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation &
Enforcement
75
278
353
21%
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
23
8,376
8,399
<1%
U.S. Geological Survey
6
7,983
7,989
<1%
Total—Department of the
Interior

2,413
58,219
60,634
4%
Source: OPM, FedScope database, Employment Trend cubes, Cabinet-Level Agencies parameter set to
Department of the Interior, at https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/. Data accessed from FedScope on April 14, 2021.
Notes: Data reflect places of employment for DOI staff, not places of residence. “Indian Affairs” includes the
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Per information provided to CRS from
DOI, “Office of the Secretary of the Interior” includes employees from the Office of Insular Affairs, Office of the
Special Trustee for American Indians, and the various Assistant Secretary Offices that oversee DOI bureaus and
agencies.

125 OPM, Fedscope, “Data Definitions,” at https://www.fedscope.opm.gov/datadefn/index.asp, accessed on December
8, 2020.
126 A 2019 version of this CRS report included DOI employment figures in what OPM referred to as the “DC core-
based statistical area (CBSA).” OPM defined a CBSA as “a geographic area having at least one urban area of
population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured
by commut ing ties.”126 OPM no longer reports on employment figures within the DC CBSA. Largely as a result of this
change, figures in this report for “Inside DC” are lower than those for “Inside DC CBSA” published in the 2019 report.
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Overview of DOI Appropriations
Discretionary funding for DOI is provided primarily through Title I of the annual Interior,
Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bil .127 The Bureau of Reclamation
(Reclamation) and the Central Utah Project, however, receive funding through the Energy and
Water Development appropriations bil .128 Several of the agencies that receive discretionary funds
through these two appropriations bil s also receive mandatory funding under various authorizing
statutes.
DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2017-FY2021129
Figure 4
shows the budget trends for both the Interior and the Energy and Water appropriations
bil s over the past five fiscal years (FY2017-FY2021). From FY2017 to FY2021, total DOI
appropriations increased 13% in current dollars.130 Total appropriations including supplemental
appropriations fluctuated from FY2017 to FY2021. If supplemental appropriations are not
considered, DOI discretionary appropriations increased each year from FY2017 to FY2020.
Regular discretionary appropriations decreased by roughly 1% from FY2020 to FY2021 and by
more than 5% including supplemental appropriations.
Figure 4. DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2017-FY2021
(in current dol ars)

Source: CRS, with data from the annual Interior Budget in Brief for FY2019-FY2021. Figures for each of FY2017-
FY2019 were taken from the volume published two years fol owing the fiscal year in question (e.g., for FY2017,

127 Hereinafter, the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill is referred to as the Interior
appropriations bill.
128 T he Central Utah Project (CUP) is a federal water storage project originally authorized under the management of
Reclamation, although it is now overseen and administered by a separate office within DOI .
129 For more in-depth information on DOI appropriations, see CRS Report R46519, Interior, Environment, and Related
Agencies: Overview of FY2021 Appropriations
, by Carol Hardy Vincent and CRS Report R46384, Energy and Water
Developm ent: FY2021 Appropriations
, by Mark Holt and Corrie E. Clark.
130 Amounts in this section reflect current dollars. Using inflation-adjusted (constant) dollars would result in different
amounts of change during this five-year period.
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figures are from FY2019 document). FY2020 figures reflect enacted totals taken from H.Rept. 116-449 and
H.Rept. 116-448. Supplemental figures taken from P.L. 116-136 and P.L. 116-113. FY2021 figures reflect enacted
totals taken from P.L. 116-260.
Notes: Actual totals include rescissions and transfers authorized by the Interior, Environment, and Related
Agencies and the Energy and Water Development appropriations bil s. Figures reflect Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations for FY2018 and FY2019. For FY2018 this includes $50 mil ion enacted as part of the Additional
Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-72), and $516 mil ion enacted
as part of the Further Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2018 ( P.L.
115-123, Division B, Subdivision I). For FY2019, this reflects $327.8 mil ion in funding provided as part of the
Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019 (P.L. 116-20). For FY2020, this reflects $4
mil ion in funding provided to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
Implementation Act (P.L. 116-113) and funding provided as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security Act or the ‘ CARES Act” (P.L. 116-136). The CARES Act contained $756 mil ion for various activities of
the Bureau of Indian Affairs ($453 mil ion); the Bureau of Indian Education ($69 mil ion); the Office of the
Secretary ($158.4); the Office of Insular Affairs ($55 mil ion); and the Bureau of Reclamation ($20.6 mil ion).
DOI Discretionary Appropriations: FY2021, by Agency
Figure 5
shows the breakdown of enacted FY2021 appropriations for DOI bureaus, offices, and
programs funded through the Interior and the Energy and Water appropriations bil s. Figures are
presented in total dollars (in mil ions) and as percentages of the department’s $15.4 bil ion in
enacted appropriations for FY2021.
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