Chesapeake Conservancy Applauds Energy and Natural Resources Committee Vote in Support of Secretary Nominee Debra Haaland

Confirmation of Haaland as Department of the Interior Secretary Would Be a Win for Chesapeake Bay Watershed & 30 x 30 Initiative 

Annapolis, MD – Today, setting the stage for a historic moment for the United States, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted in support of confirmation of nominee U.S. Representative Debra Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. A U.S. Senate vote to confirm her would make her the first Indigenous person to serve in the cabinet, where she would oversee the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and several other agencies.

Upon the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee vote, Chesapeake Conservancy President & CEO Joel Dunn issued the following statement:

“The confirmation of Congresswoman Haaland as Secretary of the Department of the Interior would be a momentous achievement for our nation, and especially for indigenous people who have been historically excluded from participation in the federal government.

“As part of President Biden’s cabinet, Representative Haaland would be a significant voice and advocate for conservation across the United States. When asked about her motivation to lead the Department of the Interior during her confirmation hearing, Representative Haaland said, ‘This is all of our country, this is our Mother, you’ve heard the Earth referred to Mother Earth.’

“We find inspiration in these remarks and her commitment to many of the ideals shared by the Chesapeake Conservancy, including President Biden’s support of conserving 30% each of our lands and waters by the year 2030 in order to protect America’s wildlife and natural landscapes.

“With 22% of the Chesapeake watershed already conserved and a strong Chesapeake Conservation Partnership in place, Chesapeake Conservancy is committed to attaining this ‘30 by 30’ goal through partnerships and hard work.

“We support the nomination of Congresswoman Haaland and look forward to the opportunity to support a national goal for 30 x 30 through our conservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“We urge U.S. Senate confirmation as conserving land requires the active inclusion of all stakeholders, especially the Black, the Indigenous, and People of Color who have been historically excluded and separated from meaningful involvement and participation.”