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For Immediate Release


John Horning, WildEarth Guardians, 505-795-5083,

Press Release

WildEarth Guardians Lauds Biden’s Pick of Haaland for Interior Secretary

First Native Cabinet Secretary will make climate and environmental justice a centerpiece of Interior Department

According to the Washington Post, President-elect Joe Biden has picked Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico to join his Cabinet as Secretary of the Interior.

Representative Haaland, a 35th generation New Mexican and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, would be the first Indigenous person to run any Cabinet-level department in the history of the United States.

In response, John Horning, executive director of New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians, issued the following statement:

“WildEarth Guardians enthusiastically supports the historic nomination of Representative Deb Haaland to serve as Interior Secretary. Representative Haaland has been a steadfast champion of bold climate action, environmental justice, and protection of public lands and imperiled wildlife.

Representative Haaland’s leadership defending the Greater Chaco region from the Trump administration’s ‘Energy Dominance’ agenda demonstrates that she’s the perfect person to fulfill President-elect Biden’s promise to end new oil and gas leasing on federal public lands and waters.

In Congress, Representative Haaland has been at the forefront of issues central to what the Department of Interior must address to confront the climate and nature crises: Stop the plundering of public lands, protect endangered species, implement policies that nurture an ethic of wildlife co-existence, protect 30% of all lands by 2030, and expand and deepen protection of national parks, monuments, and cultural sites.

As an Indigenous woman, Representative Haaland deeply understands the intersectionality of conservation and racial, climate, and social justice. Given the Department of Interior’s trustee obligations to Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations, nominating Representative Haaland is a vital step towards reforming the agencies within the Department of the Interior to meet those obligations.

We need bold vision and compassionate leadership in times of crisis and we’re confident that Representative Haaland will meet the challenges that a new Interior Secretary will face. We look forward to working with Secretary Haaland to help usher in a new era at the Department of the Interior.


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WildEarth Guardians protects and restores the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West. Driven by passion, we’ve tackled some of the West’s most difficult and pressing conservation challenges over the past three decades. We’ve celebrated small victories (banning leghold trapping in the state of Colorado), monumental triumphs (ending logging on more than 21 million acres in the Southwest), and everything in-between.

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