Confirming Interior Secretary Nominee Haaland Critical to America’s Wildlife, Public Lands, Tribal Obligations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of the Interior’s critical role in recovering America’s wildlife, restoring public lands, and meeting treaty obligations requires the swift confirmation of Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland. As a U.S. representative and nominee, Haaland has demonstrated her deep understanding of the department’s responsibilities to Indigenous communities, role in sustaining America’s wildlife heritage, and mission to responsibly steward the nation’s public lands and natural resources.

The National Wildlife Federation urged the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Haaland to this critical role.

“At a time when millions of Americans are turning to the outdoors for rejuvenation and exercise, we need a Secretary of the Interior who fully understands the value of our beloved public lands, and the clean water and wildlife habitat they provide,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Representative Deb Haaland brings the expertise and experience needed for the crucial work of restoring our public lands, honoring our Tribal commitments, recovering imperiled wildlife populations, and increasing outdoor access for all Americans. We urge Congress to confirm her historic nomination without delay — our public lands depend on it.”

“For wildlife, there is no distinction between different jurisdictions and to protect the species that live across these lands, we must conserve and restore both public and Tribal lands. Under Rep. Haaland’s leadership, the Interior Department will be able to expand partnerships with Tribal communities and advocate meaningfully for Tribal natural resource initiatives,” said Gloria Tom, director at large of the National Wildlife Federation Board of Directors. “Congresswoman Haaland understands the importance of wildlife for Native peoples and as Interior Secretary, will be able to authentically work with and engage Tribal communities to preserve these treasures.” 

“Querencia, a love for the land, is a widely held value for many Hispanic communities. For so many people, hunting and fishing is not a sport — it is a cultural practice that has strengthened family bonds for generation after generation,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of HECHO. “Congresswoman Haaland understands that access to the outdoors is key to fostering strong communities. She also knows that conserving the land we love is more important now than ever. She will be a strong advocate for these values as Interior Secretary."

Last month, the National Wildlife Federation and 45 affiliates from around the country sent a letter to the Senate asking for swift confirmation of Rep. Haaland. As Congresswoman, Rep. Haaland introduced the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, a bipartisan bill that affirms the right to self-governance for tribes across the country and the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, which aims to make the outdoors more accessible for all Americans. She is also a co-sponsor of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. 


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