Department of the Interior Law and Legal Definition

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for the management and conservation of the U.S. federal land and natural resources. The DOI protects U.S. natural resources and heritage, and honors the nation’s cultures and tribal communities. It also administers programs relating to Native Americans and Hawaiians, and Alaska natives. The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the DOI.

DOI is responsible for managing the nation’s public lands and minerals, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and western water resources. It also upholds the country’s commitments to island communities and federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes. Additional responsibilities of the DOI include: migratory wildlife conservation, historic preservation, protection of the endangered species, surface-mined lands protection and restoration, mapping, geological, hydrological, and biological science, and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.