WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2021) — The U.S. Senate’s bipartisan vote to confirm Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior demonstrates a commitment to restoring the nation’s public lands and honoring Tribal commitments. The National Wildlife Federation pledged to work with Secretary Haaland to tackle the challenges facing America’s public lands and the department, including oil and gas reform, wildlife conservation, and abandoned mine and well reclamation.
“Deb Haaland is the exact leader we need to steward our public lands using a balanced approach to job creation, responsible energy development, wildlife recovery, habitat restoration, clean water safeguards, cultural treasure protection, and access to outdoor recreation,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Secretary Haaland and the Interior Department face a range of challenges, and we stand ready to work with her and her team to create good jobs restoring our public lands, tackle the climate crisis, recover imperiled wildlife populations, and ensure our natural resources endure for generations to come.”
“We applaud the Senate for the historic vote to confirm Deb Haaland as the first Indigenous Cabinet Secretary. Maine has a deep connection to our public lands, and we are eager to work with Secretary Haaland on the transition to a clean energy economy that will create good-paying jobs, protect our public lands and waters so they can better mitigate climate change, and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans,” said Lisa Pohlmann, CEO of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
“SEACC would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Secretary Deb Haaland for her historic confirmation, and our thanks to Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan for their ‘yes’ votes! Secretary Haaland is the climate champion Alaska needs, and brings long overdue Indigenous perspective to public land management,” said Meredith Trainor, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC). “We look forward to working with Haaland on the many public land issues that the Department of the Interior manages in Alaska, not least of which includes our 17 national parks and 16 wildlife refuges.”
“Congresswoman Haaland has made history as the first Native American woman to lead the Department of the Interior, a symbol of the progress that is yet to come under her tenure, and an important opportunity for the protection of our public lands,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO). “A long-time advocate for expanding and preserving public lands so that future generations can continue to enjoy these special places, her track record of stewardship allows Indigenous and Latinx communities the opportunity to continue to practice the multicultural traditions that are reflected in our diverse landscapes. We look forward to working with Secretary Haaland, a champion for equitable access in the outdoors, and the first Indigenous Cabinet Secretary.”