RTF statement on selection of Rep. Haaland to lead Interior Department

/ In The News, News

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team on Thursday announced as his nominee to the Interior Department Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., chair of a House Natural Resources subcommittee that oversees Interior.

If confirmed by the Senate, Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, would be the first Native American cabinet member and only the third woman to lead the department.

Return to Freedom appreciates the new perspective Haaland will bring to the position and her emphasis on conservation — a stark contrast to that of the current administration. We hope that she will show similar dedication to protecting wild horses and burros and the habitats on which they depend.

Haaland introduced a bill to expand National Monuments of great ecological and cultural value and leads the 30×30 effort in the House, a conservation plan to protect 30% of land and ocean in the United States by 2030. She been a strong advocate on environmental justice issues and opposed the fossil fuel industry’s interests.

Haaland has echoed Biden’s emphasis on tackling climate change, calling it “the challenge of our lifetime.”

In the remote, rugged ranges on which America’s wild horses and burros live, the effects of climate change are being felt now, and Haaland’s focus on our shared future is a welcome one.

In a tweet, Haaland said, “I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected land.”

RTF shares this value. We look forward to working with Haaland to move swiftly toward humane management and a sustainable future for America’s wild horses and burros.