As reported by the Washington Post and E&E News, the US Department of the Interior is planning to undertake a reorganization of its workforce and land management plans. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke states that the proposal is a major priority, along with reducing the $12 Billion deferred maintenance backlog currently looming over the national park service.
Zinke’s goal for this plan is to improve public land management and provide for greater levels of collaboration among interior staff, saying, “If you look at the way we’re presently organized, all the bureaus under Interior have different regions . . . and are not aligned geographically,” Zinke said. For example, a single stream with trout and salmon can fall under the view of five separate agencies, one for each fish, another for a dam downstream and yet another to manage the water, and each generates reports that often conflict. There’s not a lot of opportunity to work as a team.”
Under the proposed plan, Interior would divide the agency’s efforts into thirteen distinct geographically coherent regions throughout the US. The move will require the relocation of Interior staff away from Washington DC and other regional offices and into areas where they could better serve an assigned area.