The mission of the Department of the Interior
is to protect and provide access to our Nation's natural and cultural heritage and honor our trust responsibilities to tribes and our commitments to island communities. The Department manages the Nation's public lands and minerals, national parks, national wildlife refuges, and western water resources and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and our commitments to island communities. It is responsible for migratory wildlife conservation; historic preservation; endangered species; surface-mined lands protection and restoration; mapping; geological, hydrological, and biological science; and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.
The Department of the Interior was created by act of March 3, 1849 (43 U.S.C. 1451), which transferred to it the General Land Office, the Office of Indian Affairs, the Pension Office, and the Patent Office. It was reorganized by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950, as amended (5 U.S.C. app.).