Press Release Mar 15, 2021

Parks Group Celebrates Deb Haaland’s Historic Confirmation as Interior Secretary, Marking a New Era for National Parks and Public Lands

"Now, more than ever, we need bold leaders like Secretary Haaland, who are ready to take on the challenges facing our public lands with a commitment to climate solutions and environmental justice." - Theresa Pierno 

Washington, DC – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Deb Haaland as the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior, also making her the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history. As a member of Congress and former Vice-Chair of the Natural Resources Committee and Chairwoman of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, Haaland brings years of experience advocating for environmental justice and the protection of our national parks, public lands and waters into her new role as Interior Secretary. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has worked with Haaland throughout her career on a number of important park issues from reinstating protections for Bears Ears National Monument, to passing the Great American Outdoors Act, to protecting lands surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from rampant oil and gas development. NPCA celebrates the historic confirmation of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior.

The Interior Secretary is a position heavy with stewardship responsibilities, overseeing nearly 500 million acres of federal lands and more than 1.5 billion acres of offshore waters. For over a century, the NPCA has fought for our national parks, public lands and waters so that future generations can experience and learn from them, the same way we do today. NPCA looks forward to continuing this important work alongside Deb Haaland and the Biden administration.

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

“Today is a historic day for all of us who care for our public lands and waters. Secretary Haaland is a fierce advocate for the protection of our parks, sacred landscapes and the environment. As a descendant of the original guardians of our lands, she brings a unique perspective, unlike any Interior Secretary before her. She has vowed to elevate and engage underrepresented communities with an eye towards rebuilding the agency and the public lands it protects. Better representing the makeup and values of our country will help ensure that everyone can see themselves reflected and feel welcomed in these important places.

“With climate change, the ongoing global health pandemic and racial injustices wreaking havoc on our communities, our national parks and public lands have provided places of healing, reflection and inspiration for so many people. Now, more than ever, we need bold leaders like Secretary Haaland, who are ready to take on the challenges facing our public lands with a commitment to climate solutions and environmental justice.

“For more than 100 years, NPCA has worked alongside Secretaries of the Interior to protect, strengthen and defend our national parks, ensuring their air is clear, their water is clean and their wildlife is thriving. We look forward to building a more equitable future and lasting legacy for our parks and public lands with Deb Haaland at the helm of the Interior.”

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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 www.npca.org.

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