U.S. Interior Department

https://www.lummis.senate.gov/

As President Biden works to solidify his cabinet, Wyoming's U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis filed to block Deb Haaland's appointment as Secretary of the Interior earlier this week.

She said that her nomination is good for the American Indian community but not for Wyoming.

Giniw Collective

U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso were confrontational during Rep. Deb Haaland's confirmation hearing for Interior Secretary. It was over Haaland's anti-fracking stance.

 
Deb Haaland's road to lead the Department of the Interior has been rocky, with some members of Congress using her confirmation process to air grievances with President Joe Biden's climate change agenda.
 

On Tuesday, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans, placed a procedural hold on her nomination, citing concerns about her positions on oil and gas development.

 

A Senate committee vote Thursday brought Deb Haaland one step closer to becoming the nation's next Interior secretary. If she's confirmed she'll face myriad big decisions, including whether to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters from Colorado back to Washington, D.C.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe

Wyoming's U.S. Sen. John Barrasso voiced opposition to Deb Haaland during last week's confirmation hearing for secretary of the interior.

 

Jazmine Wildcat is a star student in Riverton, Wyoming. Not the type to skip class. But on Tuesday morning, a piece of history was unfolding that the 17-year-old just couldn't miss: A congressional hearing to consider the confirmation of Deb Haaland as the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior.

"It is just super monumental and so inspiring, not only to just me, but probably other Native women," Jazmine said.

SCREENSHOT / CSPAN

Wyoming's congressional lawmakers expressed opposition during Tuesday's confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Interior Department nominee Deb Haaland.

The Senate confirmation hearing for Deb Haaland, nominated to lead the Interior Department, began Tuesday. If confirmed, she'll be the nation's first Indigenous cabinet secretary and oversee federal public lands management and tribal affairs.

 

 

New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland is poised to become our nation's first Indigenous cabinet secretary. As some prominent Mountain West lawmakers oppose her confirmation to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior, many of their Indigenous constituents are pushing back.

Map of the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative project with corridors represented
Bureau of Land Management

The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative, a proposal from the Wyoming Governor's Office. The project has been in the works for nearly ten years with an eye towards boosting carbon capture utilization and storage including enhanced oil recovery.

Map of cultural resources, historic trails, and Native American concerns in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Converse County Oil and Gas Project
Bureau of Land Management

Several tribes have filed letters of protest against the recently approved Converse County Oil and Gas Project. The U.S. Interior Department signed off on the project at the end of last year; it allows for the drilling of 5,000 wells over the next decade by five operators.


Soon after she was elected as one of America's first Indigenous congresswomen in 2018, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland paid a visit to her constituents at the Pueblo of Sandia, just outside of Albuquerque. 

"She came to the Pueblo for one of our feast days," said Stephine Poston, a tribal citizen and advocate for Native women leadership. "And the young girls, a couple of them were following her around and she stopped to talk to them. It was an amazing thing to see and witness." 

Poston said Haaland may as well have been a celebrity to those girls, but she didn't act like one. 

"She's just that person who will stop and see you," Poston said. 

And she said that's how Pueblo people, and Indigenous people across the country, have been feeling since Haaland was nominated to lead the Department of the Interior: Seen.

Proposed projects or LWCF funding from the Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land / The Trust for Public Land

The Interior Department is facing criticism for putting up barriers to conservation projects nationwide funded through the new Great American Outdoors Act.

The Department of Interior is proposing a rule change that could open the door for more private companies to operate within national parks.

Coal seam at Peabody's North Antelope Rochelle Mine
Peabody Energy

On March 30, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi led 10 other U.S. Senate signatories in a request for the U.S. Department of the Interior to administer help to the coal, oil and gas industries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Liz Cheney signed a similar letter coming from the House of Representatives today alongside 29 other Congressmen.

The Interior Department has announced it’s temporarily waiving entrance fees for recreation areas, national monuments and national parks. Secretary David Bernhardt said he wanted to make it easier for people to recreate on public lands.

Wallpaperslot.com

Grand Teton National Park has paused its efforts to eliminate the nonnative mountain goat herd in the area. This comes after state and federal agencies told the park to call it off. Gov. Mark Gordon, the Wyoming Game and Fish director and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior asked the national park to halt its plans to kill the nonnative population through aerial gunning.

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After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

President Donald Trump unveiled his budget proposal Monday, and a significant cut to the Department of Interior is on the table.

The Trump administration wants to cut funding for all but one agency within the Interior, for a 16% overall reduction.

The Interior Department has been trying to tackle a growing backlog of public records requests under the Trump administration, and now the agency is creating a new legal team to help with the effort. 

Update, Jan. 15 10:11 a.m.: The Department of Interior has provided a statement, which is now included in this story.

The Trump Administration’s Interior Department has largely ignored public comment on proposed rule changes, according to an analysis from the Center for Western Priorities.

The conservation advocacy group looked at ten proposals from Interior, including the easing of offshore drilling regulations and Endangered Species Act protections. What it found was that while more than 95% of public comments were opposed to the changes, the agency still moved forward on most of them.

Since the 1960s, the National Park Service has partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide environmental education services to the public. But a recent audit from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of these Residential Environmental Learning Centers have strayed from their original mission .

A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is in Washington, D.C., this week criticizing the agency’s planned relocation out West.

The Trump Administration is continuing to deploy park rangers at the U.S.-Mexico border to help with enforcement. And while national parks and other public lands in the West are feeling the effects, it’s unclear just how much.

The Interior Department’s chief watchdog updated Congress Wednesday on the agency’s efforts to curb a long-term pattern of sexual harassment. 

The Interior Department has walked back controversial efforts to curb public records requests in a final rule published Friday

NPS

An Interior Department committee is recommending that the National Park Service privatize campgrounds in national parks and offer services such as WI-FI and food trucks.

President Donald Trump intends to nominate a long-time Republican Hill staffer to help lead the nation’s largest land management agency.

Along with its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to our region. But, there is some confusion on the specifics.

A congressional watchdog agency has decided that the Interior Department broke the law by using entrance fees to keep national parks open during the government shutdown this past winter. 

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