Past Action Alerts.

Past Action Alerts.

Representative Deb Haaland’s Historic Nomination

Sen. Daines: It's Time to Support Rep. Haaland as Interior Secretary

Ahead of February 23rd’s scheduled confirmation hearing for Secretary of Interior, Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance sent the following letter to Sen. Steve Daines urging him to support Rep. Haaland’s historic nomination.

US Department of the Interior logo

Please contact Senator Daines and ask him to support Rep. Halland's nomination:

Click here to email (you'll be sent to his official site) or call his Washington, DC office: (202) 224-2651
Headshot of Senator Steve Daines

February 22, 2021

Dear Senator Daines,

Headshot of Representative Deb HaalandOn behalf of Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, I’m writing to urge you to reconsider your stated opposition to the nomination of Congresswoman Deb Haaland as the next Secretary of the Department of Interior. Rep. Haaland should be confirmed as our nation’s first-ever Native American to hold a Cabinet Secretary position.

As a grassroots conservation organization based in East Glacier Park on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, we know firsthand the outsized role the Department of Interior has in managing lands, waters and wildlife important to Montana’s beloved way of life and vibrant outdoor economy. We also see the incredible strains they are facing from climate change, exploding recreation, rampant resource development, and loss of biodiversity. As a Westerner from New Mexico with deep roots in the soil, Rep. Haaland understands the ecological, economic, recreational, and cultural importance of public lands to many different communities. This context will undoubtedly aid her in addressing the most pressing challenges our public lands face in a fair and balanced way.

We also recognize the significance of her nomination to be the first-ever Native American Cabinet Secretary in America’s history, especially to Native American people and Tribal nations. Finally, someone who personally understands the challenges, needs, and issues facing Indian Country will be able to influence the federal government’s response at the highest levels. For the past four years, the federal government has been particularly derelict in carrying out its treaty and trust obligations to tribes, including regularly neglecting to consult with Tribal nations before undertaking federal actions that affect tribal resources, lands, and people. As a Laguna Pueblo woman, Rep. Haaland is distinctively positioned to bring badly needed reforms for how the federal government upholds its trust responsibilities going forward.

 Your stated reasons for opposing Rep. Haaland are particularly hard to comprehend in light of your unwillingness to oppose an anti-public lands zealot in William Perry Pendley as acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Pendley was an avowed opponent of federal ownership of public lands, the very lands he was responsible to manage. His opposition to tribal rights and interests was extensive and appalling, including dogmatically seeking to drill the Badger-Two Medicine, lands sacred to the Blackfeet Nation. He had conflicts of interest miles long. He undermined locally crafted solutions for backcountry areas on BLM lands in central Montana – the very type of collaborative solutions you like to champion. A federal judge determined Pendley’s appointment violated both statute and the Constitution. Yet you did not speak out. Not once. Instead you downplayed his record and minimized the public’s concerns. Throughout your career we’ve wanted to believe you when you say you’re a champion for conservation and public lands. It’s really hard to believe you right now.

 Senator Daines, it’s okay, even admirable, to change your mind. Now is the right time to do so. As the Secretary of Interior, Rep. Haaland will capably steward our nation’s lands, waters, and resources so Montanans from all walks of life can continue to enjoy and benefit from them, both now, and for generations to come. Please drop your opposition and support her historic nomination.

Giving to Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance helps us continue to track and advocate for important issues like this one. Please consider a gift to safeguard the land, water, and wildlife found in the northeastern Crown of the Continent.
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