Monday, April 26, 2021

Interior nominees would put an environmentalist in charge of public lands, a Native American high up in Indian Affairs

Bryan Newland and Tracy Stone-Manning
On Earth Day last week, the White House announced nominees for major Interior Department positions that underscore administration goals to go greener and put more Native Americans in charge of Native American policy.

Tracy Stone-Manning, a National Wildlife Federation senior adviser for conservation policy, was nominated last week as the Bureau of Land Management director. She is NWF's former associate vice-president for public lands. "If confirmed as land bureau chief, she would preside over all of America’s onshore oil, gas and coal reserves and manage more than 244 million acres of federal public land, mostly in the West," Bobby MaGill reports for Bloomberg. "The potential for her to lead the agency drew skepticism from industry. Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, a trade group representing oil and gas companies operating on land bureau land, said the choice showed environmental activists were running the Interior Department."

Before working at NWF, Stone-Manning was former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock's chief of staff and was an adviser and regional director for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont, Magill reports.

Former Ojibwe chair Bryan Newland was nominated for assistant interior secretary for Indian affairs. Newland was tribal president of the Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan and served as a policy adviser for Indian affairs at Interior under former President Barack Obama. He also served as the chief judge of the Bay Mills Tribal Court. "In February the Interior announced Newland's appointment to principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian Affairs," Indian Country Today and the Associated Press report. "The next step is for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to confirm Newland. If he is confirmed by the committee, the vote moves to the full Senate."

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