Deb Haaland Responds to Trump's Assault on Public Lands

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For Immediate Release
December 4, 2017
Contact
: Scott Forrester, 505.934.5681

Albuquerque, NM - In an unprecedented move and an assault on our public lands, President Trump through executive order massively rolled back protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments.

Deb Haaland, candidate for Congress in NM-1, released the following statement:

"With his unprecedented decision today, President Trump and GOP leaders in Utah sided with the oil and gas industry over everyday Americans. Once again, Trump has shown complete disrespect to our public lands and monuments, to all Americans who enjoy them, and to the five tribes of Utah whose ancestry exists throughout these lands.

This shortsighted and arrogant move must be legally challenged and the land returned to the people.

I am a product of thousands of years of sustained agriculture, which saw our people through the most devastating droughts, albeit in a high desert environment. I understand the value that Indian tribes bring to any region in our country, and I fully support the Utah Tribes that are suing Trump to get their land back.

For many Indian Tribes, protected public lands are the only way for individuals and tribes to use their ancestral homelands, and encroachment by the U.S. Government, in this way, will have devastating effects on generations to come. The land that the Trump is taking away from Bears Ears, Grand Staircase Escalante, and the land near Chaco Canyon that will be auctioned off to the oil and gas industry, is not going to be used for any noble purpose.

We should expand public lands - not cut them back. Public lands help to preserve ancient histories of people who came before us, while supporting outdoor recreation economies that create revenue and jobs. It is up to us to protect the land for all future generations.

This President and Secretary of the Interior are moving hard to scrutinize the designation of public lands, and we need a champion in Washington to take them on. I know firsthand that many of our sacred sites are not within our tribal boundaries, I deeply respect and will defend our public lands and monuments, and I will fight every day the oil and gas industry and all those who would destroy our land for profit to preserve and protect what belongs to the American people."

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Deb Haaland is running for New Mexico's First Congressional District seat, and would be the first Native American woman elected to U.S. Congress. As the first Native American woman to chair a state party, Deb led New Mexico Democrats in 2016 to flip its State House from red to blue, expand the Democratic majority in the Senate, elect a Democrat Secretary of State, and hand a decisive victory to Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

Deb is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, is a former small businesswoman, and was the first woman elected to Chair the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors. She is a UNM Law School graduate and single mom to Somah, who recently graduated from UNM with a BA in Theater.