Livestreams Next Week: Building Back Better on Public Lands, COVID in Indian Country on Tuesday; Insular Infrastructure and Economy on Wednesday

Washington, D.C. – The Natural Resources Committee is holding three livestreamed events next week.

Tuesday, March 23

National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee Hearing

The Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, led by Chair Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), will hold a hearing titled Building Back Better: Examining the Future of America’s Public Lands. The event will focus on the economic potential of restoring and conserving public lands; policy options to mitigate the impacts of climate change on public lands; and how best to repair the damage the Trump administration did to federal conservation programs and land management agencies.

Public lands were responsible for nearly 25 percent of U.S. carbon emissions from 2005-2014. Climate-driven impacts continue to devastate public lands and public land communities, with increasing wildfires, droughts, floods, and extreme weather events harming ecosystems and costing billions of taxpayer dollars. As Congress and the Biden administration begin to shape a potential multi-trillion-dollar economic revitalization package, the question of how best to use public lands to our economic and environmental benefit is more timely than ever.

Witnesses include:

  • Sharon Buccino

Adjunct Professor, University of Wyoming College of Law

Senior Director, Land Division, Nature Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

  • Dr. Molly Cross

Director of Climate Change Adaptation, North and South America

Director of Science, Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund

  • Mary Ellen Sprenkel

President and CEO

The Corps Network

  • Gov. Brad Little (minority witness)

State of Idaho

When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: http://bit.ly/3r4sKbo (Facebook) or https://youtu.be/IS6AptTEpd4  (YouTube)

Emerging Coronavirus Impacts in Indian Country Hearing

The Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, led by Chair Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), will hold a hearing titled A Year in Review: The State of COVID-19 in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Communities—Lessons Learned for Future Action. The event will focus on policy recommendations from tribal health, elder, housing and Native Hawaiian experts on the current state of coronavirus and its impact on Indigenous populations throughout the pandemic.

At the end of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that among 14 states participating in its analysis, the overall coronavirus mortality rate among American Indian and Alaska Native persons was 3.5 times higher than that of White populations. By the end of 2020, the mortality rate for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals was 3.5 times higher than that of White populations. In Hawaii, Pacific Islanders account for nearly 30 percent of cases even though they make up only 4 percent of the population.

Witnesses include:

  • Francys Crevier

Chief Executive Officer

National Council of Urban Indian Health

  • William Smith

Chairperson and Alaska Area Representative

National Indian Health Board

  • Larry Curley

Executive Director

National Indian Council on Aging

  • Adrian Stevens

Acting Chairman, Board of Directors

National American Indian Housing Council

  • Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey


Office of Hawaiian Affairs

  • Dr. Charles Grim (minority witness)

Secretary, Department of Health

Chickasaw Nation

  • Rodney Cawston (minority witness)

Chairman, Colville Business Council

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

When: 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: http://bit.ly/2P6tnE2 (Facebook) or https://youtu.be/hyIw8JiWEZI (YouTube)

Wednesday, March 24

The full Committee, led by Vice Chair Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI), will hold a hearing titled How the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Plan Can Benefit the U.S. Territories. The event will focus on how a national infrastructure and economic investment plan can benefit U.S. Territories, where economic growth has contracted or remained flat for decades, in part because of a series of catastrophic natural disasters that have not received urgent federal attention.

Due to limited financial resources, territorial governments have historically not prioritized maintenance planning and budgeting, training, or life cycle costing, which has resulted in the premature decline of power plants, roads, ports, water and sewer systems, and public buildings. Increasing infrastructure funding under the Biden administration is crucial for these governments to address long-ignored needs.

Invited witnesses (some awaiting final confirmation) include:

  • Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero


  • Gov. Ralph DLG Torres

Northern Mariana Islands

  • Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi

Puerto Rico

  • Gov. Lemanu Mauga

American Samoa

When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: http://bit.ly/3vCnE9L (Facebook) or https://youtu.be/cqvGE8VKDiQ (YouTube)

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile