Conservation Colorado applauds President-elect Biden’s nomination of New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland as 54th Interior secretary

If confirmed, Congresswoman Haaland will make history as the first Native American to serve as Interior secretary

DENVER — Today’s historic announcement makes Congresswoman Deb Haaland the first Native American in U.S. history to be nominated to serve as Interior secretary. This monumental decision fosters the effort to mend relationships between the U.S. government and Indigenous nations, and sets a national tone to include Native Americans in the fight to preserve our public lands.

Haaland, who is known for her fearless leadership in Congress, spearheaded an ambitious but achievable national goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and water by 2030 alongside Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse and other representatives. Her nomination provides hope for many longstanding and broadly supported Colorado public lands initiatives, such as the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act and Colorado Wilderness Act.

Conservation Colorado’s Public Lands Advocate Beau Kiklis released the following statement:

“It is a historic day for Indigenous people and nations, who have lived and worked on the lands overseen by the Department of Interior. In her first term, Congresswoman Haaland championed a bold plan to conserve 30 percent of lands and water by 2030 to protect future generations. Her confirmation will inspire the country to include tribes in decisions about public lands protections. Conservation Colorado shares this same vision of including Indigenous peoples to create an equitable movement to protect public lands. We look forward to working side by side with Haaland to accomplish this goal.” 

If confirmed, Haaland will oversee the management of over 500 million acres of ancestral and public lands, and facilitate the United States government-to-government relationship with 574 federally recognized tribes.