Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau wrapped up a two-day visit to North Dakota today, where he highlighted the Biden-Harris administration’s investments in America’s infrastructure. During his visit, he was joined by Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer.
On Monday, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau participated in a roundtable discussion at Bismarck State College to discuss the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach to helping communities across the country be part of the climate solution while creating good-paying union jobs. They were joined by stakeholders from the petroleum, lignite, and wind industries as well as representatives from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, and Energy & Environmental Research Center.
Deputy Secretary Beaudreau traveled to the Snake Creek Pumping Plant near Coleharbor to tour the Bureau of Reclamation-owned facility that is operated by the Garrison Diversion. The pumping plant is vital to maintaining water levels at several smaller recreational lakes in the area as well as supplying local farmers with water for irrigation but has been negatively affected by drought in recent years.
Deputy Secretary Beaudreau highlighted the Department’s commitment to addressing the drought crisis and confronting climate change. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes important investments that will provide much-needed funding for the western drought crisis by investing in water efficiency and recycling programs, Tribal water settlements, and dam safety.
Today, Deputy Secretary Beaudreau toured Theodore Roosevelt National Park and participated in a roundtable with National Park Service staff, local government officials, and area stakeholders. Deputy Secretary Beaudreau highlighted how the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is making significant investments in park infrastructure, creating jobs, and supporting local economies.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park received $38.3 million in FY2021 GAOA funding to evaluate and address multiple major roadway failure points, drainage systems, road base rebuild, and asphalt resurfacing along the South Unit’s scenic loop drive, which has been inaccessible to any vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic since the summer of 2019 following a series of slides that have continued to degrade the roadway. Prior to the road closing, approximately 85 percent of the South Unit’s visitors traveled the loop road as part of the experience in the park. This investment will support roughly 500 jobs and contribute $105.4 million to the nation’s economy.
GAOA furthers the goals of President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative to support locally-led efforts to conserve, restore, and protect lands and waters across the nation to help address the climate and biodiversity crises, increase equitable access to the great outdoors, and strengthen the economy.