Big news, outdoorists! The confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland has officially been set by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for February 23rd at 9:30 AM (Eastern). Learn more about the news here via Indian Country Today, and catch up on our past post about Haaland’s nomination here.
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Wondering what this confirmation hearing means, or how the Cabinet works? Did that last question confuse you even more? We’ve got you covered: check out this resource about the confirmation process.
We recently joined Wilderness Society and nearly 500 outdoor and environmental organizations in a letter supporting this historic nomination. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
“If confirmed, Rep. Haaland would be the first Native American to lead the Department and the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in our nation’s history.
As Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Chair of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands subcommittee, Rep. Haaland is a proven leader and the right person to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time – tackling the climate, biodiversity, extinction and COVID-19 crises, and racial justice inequities on our Federal public lands and waters.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for managing 500 million acres of our shared public lands, waters, wildlife, and natural resources, as well as offshore energy and mineral resources. The department is also responsible for upholding the Federal government’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes, including managing more than 55 million acres of lands held in trust for Native Americans by the government.
Over the last four years alone, the previous administration routinely neglected to properly consult tribal governments before proceeding with fossil fuel development projects, land management plans, lease sales, and rulemakings that degraded air and water quality across the nation.
Given DOI’s track record of failing to consult with Tribes or engage with Indigenous communities while enacting public lands policies against the better interests of Indigenous people, Rep. Haaland’s confirmation would be both an historic and much-needed step toward reckoning with a long and troubling legacy while building new, lasting, equitable achievements.”
Read the full Haaland Community Support Letter here.
Advocates, get ready to take action in support of Haaland’s nomination. She is already receiving pushback for her strong stances against the oil and gas industry, so call your reps to voice your support and stay tuned for further action items–and as always, we’ll keep you updated with any new developments.