Deb Haaland made history this week when the U.S. Senate confirmed her as the 54th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Secretary Haaland—a 35th generation New Mexican and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna—is the first Indigenous person to run any Cabinet-level department in the history of the United States.
WildEarth Guardians congratulates Secretary Haaland and celebrates the fact that the Department of Interior, which manages more than 450 million acres and houses the Bureau of Indian Affairs, finally has an Indigenous woman to lead the way. It’s fitting that this historic and momentous day occurred right in the middle of Women’s History Month.
Secretary Haaland embodies what it means to be a guardian. She’s a fierce champion of bold climate action, environmental justice, Tribal rights, and protection of public lands and endangered wildlife. WildEarth Guardians believes Secretary Haaland is exactly the visionary leader America needs to guide the Interior Department toward justice, equity, conservation, and environmental protection at this pivotal point in history.
During her time in Congress, Secretary Haaland was at the forefront of issues central to the climate and nature crises that the Interior Department must address. The Interior Department must stop the plundering of public lands, protect endangered species, implement policies that nurture an ethic of wildlife coexistence, protect 30% of all lands by 2030, and expand and deepen protection of national parks, monuments, and cultural sites.
A sincere thank you to thousands of Guardians members who sent nearly 9,000 letters to Congress urging your senators to confirm Secretary Haaland—our collective voices were heard!
As Secretary Haaland takes on this very challenging role, she is not alone. WildEarth Guardians is counting on you and all other Guardians to dig in alongside her to make the essential shifts that are critical, especially when so much—justice, equity, climate action, biodiversity, and public lands—hangs in the balance.
We look forward to working with Secretary Haaland to help usher in a new era at the Interior Department and, as always, we’ll need you by our side to take full advantage of this tremendous opportunity for positive, systemic, and lasting change.
For the Wild,
John Horning, Executive Director