Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, issued the following statement about President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to select U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to lead the Department of the Interior and Michael S. Regan, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality secretary, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency:
“We congratulate Rep. Haaland and Secretary Regan on these historic nominations, and we look forward to working with both of them and their agencies to care for and recover our country’s natural resources.
“For hunters and anglers, businesses, and communities that rely on clean water and healthy, well-managed public lands, the decisions made by leaders at Interior and EPA are crucial. Our natural resources face many challenges, including climate change, drought, the impacts of energy development, and equitable access for all citizens. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to roll back rules that weakened protections for streams and forests, and to advance bipartisan policies that protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat.
“We urge the Senate to swiftly initiate the confirmation process for these two well-qualified public officials, whose appointments would bode well for the health of our lands and waters, and the future of hunting and fishing in America.”
If confirmed, Haaland would be first Native American to serve as Interior Secretary, a position that manages hundreds of millions of acres of public lands, including the National Parks, Bureau of Land Management acreage and National Wildlife Refuges. Additionally, the Department is charged with conserving western water resources, coordinating with state and tribal governments, and partnering with organizations such as Trout Unlimited to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat.
Regan would be the first African American man to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with protecting the nation’s air and water. The EPA plays a central role in the implementation of key federal laws, including the Clean Water Act; oversees the cleanup of Superfund sites, among them western abandoned mines; and is a significant partner with TU in Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes restoration efforts.
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities.