Press Release Dec 17, 2020

Parks Group Supports Historic Nomination of Congresswoman Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary

“Amid a global pandemic and climate crisis, we need a Department of Interior Secretary who is ready to address 21st century challenges with bold solutions." -- NPCA President and CEO Theresa Pierno

Washington, D.C. – Below is the National Park Conservation Association’s statement of support for the nomination of Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM), the first Native American and current Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources Committee and Chairwoman of the National Parks, Forest, and Public Lands Subcommittee, for Department of Interior Secretary by President-Elect Joe Biden today. The position of Interior Secretary is critically important, overseeing the management of all public lands including our 423 national parks.

For four years, the Trump administration has taken aim at policies that protect our national parks, wildlife, clean air and water, and climate. More than one hundred environmental safeguards have been rolled back, including numerous Endangered Species Act regulations and the National Environmental Policy Act, a 50-year-old law that has given the American people a voice in how their public lands are used. These will be among the first policies NPCA will work to reinstate under new Biden administration leadership. Rep. Haaland has played a key role defending national parks and their resources in Congress.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association

“Amid a global pandemic and climate crisis, we need a Department of Interior Secretary who is ready to address 21st century challenges with bold solutions. Congresswoman Haaland has proven throughout her career that she will be ready on day one to take on this enormous task, to protect our national parks and public lands for the benefit of all Americans.

“Congressional champions like Congresswoman Haaland have helped hold the line on conservation and have made great progress. She worked with local communities to harness the power of our national parks and championed important issues ranging from reinstating Bears Ears National Monument to the Great American Outdoors Act, to conserving lands surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from rampant oil and gas development.

“If confirmed as Interior Secretary, Ms. Haaland would ensure peoples’ voices are heard, including historically underrepresented indigenous voices, when making decisions about lands that belong to all of us. She will face the challenges of leading and supporting thousands of employees through the global pandemic, while also tackling challenges ranging from chronic overcrowding in our parks to restoring protections for endangered wildlife. And with the climate crisis forever altering and threatening destruction to our parks through melting glaciers, increasingly disastrous wildfires and more, her leadership to introduce the U.S. House Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature is a great start for the Biden administration and as Interior Secretary to address climate with solutions rooted in science.

“From our founding at the urging of the first National Park Service Director more than 100 years ago, NPCA has worked alongside administrations and Departments of Interior to protect, strengthen and defend our national parks and surrounding landscapes. We look forward to the swift Senate confirmation of Congresswoman Haaland, and to working with the Biden administration to undo damage and find new opportunities to make our parks stronger, expand them to tell more of our diverse, shared American story and improve access for all.”


About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.4 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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