WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President-elect Biden today nominated Rep. Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the Interior. The Department of the Interior manages the country’s national parks and approximately 450 million acres of public lands, oversees wildlife and other conservation efforts, and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to Indigenous communities.
Rep. Haaland has championed the environment and public lands during her tenure in Congress and has introduced legislation to make parks and monuments more welcoming by removing racist, anti-Indigenous and offensive names from public spaces. As Interior Secretary she will be uniquely positioned to build on her efforts to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native Tribes. Haaland would be the first Native American to hold a cabinet position.
President-elect Biden has committed to prioritizing climate action, including setting a national goal to protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 and action to halt new fossil fuel leasing on public lands. Haaland has been a sponsor of the 30x30 effort in the House.
In response Chris Hill, acting director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign issued the following statement:
“Rep. Haaland is eminently qualified to lead the Department of the Interior, and the Sierra Club celebrates her historic nomination. Over the last four years, the department’s exclusive focus on polluter profits and deeply-embedded culture of corruption has left much to repair, both within the agency and on the ground. We’re confident Rep. Haaland can reset the Department of the Interior. We look forward to a transformation in how our country’s lands and waters are used and managed--prioritizing Indigenous-led conservation, making public lands a part of the climate solution, and integrating equity into decision making at every level.”