U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland

President-elect Joe Biden Thursday (Dec. 17) announced U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as his nominee to be Secretary of the Interior, the position responsible for overseeing federal land and natural resources.

Outdoor Industry Association Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug made the following statement about the historic nomination:

“The Outdoor Industry Association is pleased to see Rep. Haaland nominated as Secretary of the Interior. She is a strong advocate for our nation’s public lands and waterways. In his nominations so far, President-elect Biden has demonstrated a commitment to several of the outdoor industry’s priorities, including protecting and increasing access to public lands and waters and addressing climate change. Rep. Haaland continues that trendBeyond her obvious qualifications as a policy leader on our issues, she is a tireless advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every American should have the right to thrive outside. When outdoor spaces are welcoming, accessible, and safe for all – regardless of geography, income, or prior experience – everyone benefits.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased Americans’ appreciation for the outdoors. Now, the Biden administration has an opportunity to recognize this demand by creating a more thriving environment for people, the planet, and the outdoor recreation business community. A Department of Interior led by Rep. Haaland will be an important partner in keeping our lands and waters healthy and accessible for all.”

The Secretary of Interior requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate. That process is expected to begin in early 2021.

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry. OIA unites and serves 1,300 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.