Confirmation hearing set for Interior Secretary Nominee Deb Haaland

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.

Deb Haaland

Advocacy Updates: Meet the Woman In Charge of Public Lands

Outdoorists, we finally have something to be merry and bright about.

Meet your (soon-to-be) next Secretary of the Interior: Deb Haaland.

After much speculation about who would be the next leader of our nation’s federal parks, public lands, natural resources and more, President-elect Biden named Congresswoman Deb Haaland as his choice for the most outdoorsy Cabinet position. Haaland makes history as the first Native American to serve in a Presidential Cabinet.

Not sure exactly what a Secretary of Interior does? In their own words, the Interior’s job is to “uses sound science to manage and sustain America’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources, honors our nation’s responsibilities to tribal nations, and advocates for America’s island communities.”

We are stoked about this news, and look forward to working with Rep. Haaland and the Biden administration to not only reverse the damage done during the current administration, but to forge progress ahead in protecting our public lands and focusing on the intersections of climate change, social justice, biodiversity and our communities.

Other outdoorsy things you ought know:

That’s a wrap for this week. However you’re celebrating the holidays this season, we hope you get out there (safely and Recreate Responsibly), and tag us as you do good on your outdoorsy adventures: #outdooradvocacy!

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