What They Are Saying: Montana Leaders Rally Against Rep. Haaland’s Nomination to DOI

U.S. SENATE – This week, several Montana leaders across the state have sent statements in opposition to President Biden’s Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland. Montana leaders have thanked Daines for his work highlighting concerns about Haaland’s radical views and ideological agenda that will impact the Montana way of life. 

Statements Opposing Rep. Haaland’s Nomination: 

“My concern with Rep. Haaland lies solely with her stances on numerous issues that are at odds with our Montana way of life. From Second Amendment rights to energy development to grizzly bears and agriculture, Rep. Haaland’s positions don’t line up with Montana’s priorities. I agree that it’s past time for the United States to have a Native American Cabinet secretary, but President Biden chose to nominate one of the top 10 most liberal members of Congress. I encourage the president to help us break historic barriers without jeopardizing the needs of Montanans.”—Jason Ellsworth, Montana Senate President Pro Tempore

“It has come to our attention that President Biden is nominating Deb Haaland from New Mexico to be the next Secretary of the lnterior. Given her record on environmental issues and strong regulation on public lands, as well as supporting the Green New Deal; we feel she should NOT be confirmed. Mineral County has 82 percent National Forest land that really needs proper management and care. Ms. Haaland has limited knowledge of managing vast resources for the overall benefit to all citizens and especially of our residents here that depend on the land to provide for their families.” –Letter from Mineral County Board of Commissioners

“We are writing to you with our disapproval of President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Representative Deborah Haaland (D-NM). It has come to our attention that Rep. Haaland has taken a strong stance against some of the fundamentals that make up the livelihoods of the citizens of Lincoln County.” –Letter from Lincoln County Board of Commissioners

“Flathead County is well known for its very productive grizzly bear population that has expanded onto our valley floor and is a regular threat to our citizens and visitors. Representative Haaland co-sponsored H.2532 which would provide federal protections for grizzly bears in perpetuity, ignoring the continued expansion and bear attacks by grizzlies in Northwest Montana and across the state. She is also quoted on wildearthguardians.org regarding humane trapping, “I don’t think we should allow it on out public lands.” Many of our citizens derive their income from trapping on public lands and would be damaged by having Representative Haaland act on her personal beliefs. Representative Haaland co-sponsored H.R.4348, to automatically give threatened species the same protections as endangered species, throwing every bit of data out the window regarding at-risk wildlife population management in Montana and banning the management of wildlife populations by our state.” –Letter from Flathead County Commissioners

“The Valley County Commissioners are very grateful for your opposition to the appointment of Deb Haaland to Secretary of Interior. Her record shows an alarming bias against the culture, values, and economy embraced by most Montanans.” –Letter from Valley County Board of Commissioners

“Representative Haaland does NOT share our western values or vision. She has a clear history and long record of supporting issues hostile to the Western way-of-life and economic prosperity. I am sure that you are aware of her adverse positions/comments regarding: agriculture (Montana’s number 1 industry), responsible energy development, the ‘Green New Deal’, trapping, ESA and citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.” –Letter from Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County Commissioner  

“I do not think that Deb Haaland is a very good choice for this nomination, with concerns about how she thinks about public land closers and National Security issues. Thanks for your time and Senator Daines work.”—Don Hajenga, Judith Basin County Commissioner

“I share the Senator’s Concerns.”—Mark Peterson, Hill County Commissioner

“I am opposed to the nomination of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior. I am concerned of her support of legislation that favors larger monument set a sides and environmental issues.”—Miles Hutton, Blaine County Commissioner

“In the event fossil fuels are eliminated or even minimalized, how does she see transportation of food products, lumber and steel for building, automobiles, farm equipment, and livestock transportation to and from feedlots as well as changing pastures, snow plowing on highways as well as cities, town and rural America?  Batteries don’t have power enough to move 105,000 lb. loads which in Montana is legal for semi-trucks…It takes a lot of horsepower to pull today’s farm implements, and I don’t see batteries powering 100-300 horse power tractors…When a pipeline project is killed, it effects the labor market, but the taxes that are paid from high wages go away too.  This not only effects the worker, but every business they patronize…Agriculture is prominent in the west, but the impact of not having it is global…So many people don’t see the need for agriculture because they go to the store for their food and milk.  They have no concept where meat, milk products and cereal come from…I bet numerous people in Texas wish they had their coal fired power plants back in service. This should open some eyes. I’m not saying wind and solar should be discarded, but neither should fossil fuels. It seems to me pipelines are the most economical and safest way to transport oil and natural gas…It is easy to not understand where a product comes from if you don’t do any research and just look at the final product.  People that live in a big city don’t have the opportunity to see where agricultural products start.  Meat doesn’t start at its finished size, nor does grain for cereal and bread start in its finished state…I appreciate what Senator Daines is doing to help Montana.”—Keith HolmlundCuster County Commissioner

“I would respectfully ask that you vote ‘NO’ on the nomination of Deb Haaland for the position of Secretary of the Interior. Her record of liberal causes shows that in no way does she represent the majority of Montanans in so many of the issues of today. The issue of oil and gas and pipelines is especially troubling for the economy of our State. There seems to be very little that Ms. Haaland would do for the state of Montana and I ask again, please vote ‘NO’ on this nomination.”—Jim Larson, Cascade County Commissioner

“Deb Haaland has obviously profited from a company that operates a Transmix plant that generates 50,000 gallons of fuel per day. She is seriously compromised to oversee a moratorium on new drilling on public lands. I do not support her appointment to this position.”—Diane McLean, Hill County Commissioner

“With oversight of the Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others, the Secretary of Interior has an immense impact on our current and future operations. Rep. Haaland served as Vice Chair for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, calling for the elimination of fossil fuels.  It would be detrimental to not only communities that mine coal, but for the Treasure State, as we are dependent on fossil fuels to produce everyday necessities and jobs for our hard-working Montanans.”—Molly Schwend, Executive Director of Montana Coal Council

“Montana Grain Growers has great concern about the nominee for Secretary of the Interior. Representative Haaland has a proven record that would negatively impact Montana. Montana farmers work year around to feed the world and need support and relief from the federal level, not more and more burdensome regulations and policies.” – Mitch Konen, President, Montana Grain Growers Association

“Please oppose the confirmation of Deb Haaland as the new Secretary of Interior. Her history of supporting the Green New Deal would be a disaster for Montana. With close to 40 percent of Montana under federal land management, her policies would close more land to multiple use recreation, active resource management and energy development. Montana will surely see more unwarranted Endangered Species listings under her direction resulting in more of our federally managed public lands placed off-limits to the majority of the public.”—Letter from Kerry White, Executive Director of Citizens for Balanced Use

“I think it is great that we are considering a Native American to be the Secretary of the Interior. Looking at the topics that Native Americans have faced for the last several years, an individual that understands tribal matters such as economic opportunity, workforce development, and a host of other subjects could increase awareness of the issues faced on tribal lands. However, Congresswoman Haaland is not that individual. Her stance on natural resource issues is dismal. Her participation with radical anti-resource groups as well as a partner in the “Green New Deal” is not consistent with developing economic freedom for America’s Indian Nations or the country as a whole. The Secretary of the Interior has to be able to balance the needs and wishes of all affected parties regarding Federal lands, multiple use, all of the above, however you would like to phrase it. I believe Ms. Haaland does not and cannot fit that responsibility due to her past actions.”—Alan Olson, Executive Director of Montana Petroleum Association

“MTVRA would like President Biden to reconsider his nomination of Representative Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior. Her co-sponsorship of legislation to automatically give threatened species the same protections as endangered species would result in the closure of thousands of miles of legitimate motorized trails and routes on public lands nationwide and foreshadows management of DOI lands in a manner that would limit access for millions of American citizens. We also believe her advocacy for closure of National Parks and public lands during the pandemic demonstrates poor judgment and a lack of understanding of the value of public lands to the American people as a source of solitude and emotional well-being during these challenging times.”—Nicholas Richardson, President of Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association

“From reading Deb Haaland background in the Tribune I do not like her stand on Keystone XL pipeline, just as coal has gone out of favor. When other substitutes are found, natural gas and oil will also go out of favor; all that happens if we force a square peg into a round hole is: Economic Hardship on the 80% of Americans who, already, do not have enough money.  Just like a sales tax, the hidden costs of non-carbon alternatives will hit the most vulnerable the hardest.”—Randy Knowles, Russell Country Sportsmen Association

“Representative Haaland does not represent the ideals and values of our Western way of life, and will be a serious detriment to our ongoing use of public lands and winter recreation. We live in these great western states to enjoy and protect our public lands, and we don’t need the far left telling us how to live and manage our back yards or recreation areas. We strongly oppose Representative Haaland’s appointment.”—Jason Howell, President of Montana Snowmobile Association

“As President of the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club Inc. (TLSC) which has a membership of over 200 members, we are concerned about the possible appointment of Rep. Haaland as Secretary of Interior. Backcountry snowmobiling is a passion for many outdoor enthusiasts and is also a lifeblood for many rural communities economy’s. We feel her appointment will jeopardize motorized recreation in the backcountry of our public lands. Please oppose Rep. Haaland’s appointment in upcoming senate hearings.”—Jim Voyles, President Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club

“As president of Montanans for Multiple Use North Lincoln County Chapter (MFMUNLCC) which has a membership of over 150 members we strongly support your opposition to Rep. Haaland being appointed as Secretary of Interior. It has been difficult defending our right to have access to our public lands and we feel her appointment would seriously jeopardize many Montanans right to access the backcountry of our public lands. Please stand strong in opposition to her appointment during the senate confirmation hearings. Thank you.”—Scott Mattheis, President of Montanans for Multiple Use North Lincoln County Chapter

“Please let Senator Daines know that I and the 162 members of the Cabinet Ridge Riders snowmobile club fully support his opposition to the confirmation of Deb Halland to Head the Dept. of Interior…She is anti-mining, anti-coal, anti-multiple use, pretty much against everything the majority of Montanans stand for. In a long list of bad choices by Biden, Halland should be at or near the top with the possible repercussions that would be felt here at home.” –Howard Morkert, Cabinet Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club