Livestreams Next Week: Conservation Human Rights Issues and Tribal Cultural Preservation on Tuesday, Firefighting Bills and Federal Coal on Wednesday

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


Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife

The Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, led by Chair Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), will hold an oversight hearing titled Protecting Human Rights in International Conservation

The last few years have seen credible allegations of gross human rights violations by conservation-focused non-governmental organizations (NGOs) against local and indigenous communities. A bipartisan Committee investigation has uncovered NGO failures to guard against funding abusive and violent behavior and identified ways to improve U.S. government oversight. 

This hearing will explore how to strengthen federal human rights requirements in grants and contracts, vet grantees appropriately, and expand transparency and reporting mechanisms to provide accountability for addressing alleged violations appropriately. Changes to federal policy should support a more inclusive role for local and indigenous communities in conservation. 


  • Mr. Kaddu Sebbunya, CEO, African Wildlife Foundation
  • Ms. Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation, World Wildlife Fund-U.S.
  • Ms. Joan Carling, Global Director, Indigenous Peoples Rights International
  • Mr. John Knox (Minority Witness), Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University; Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment 

When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: https://youtu.be/reezIOe8CbY


Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States 

The Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, led by Chair Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), will hold an oversight hearing titled Strengthening Indigenous Communities Through Cultural and Environmental Preservation

The U.S. government has a long history of cultural and physical violence against American Indian and Alaska Native communities resulting in a significant loss of traditional language, knowledge, and culture. To address this, tribal governments and organizations have dedicated funding and community initiatives towards cultural and environmental preservation. 

Cultural and environmental preservation efforts protect and sustain the traditional teachings and lifeways that strengthen tribal communities by promoting tribal self-determination, education and economic development opportunities. This hearing will explore how Congress can support tribal communities actively engaging in such efforts and ensure their longevity.


  • The Hon. Michael Fairbanks, Chairman, White Earth Nation 
  • The Hon. Christopher Boyd, Chairman, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa 
  • Ms. Elizabeth Azzuz, Secretary, Cultural Fire Management Council
  • Mr. Cody Desautel (Minority Witness), President, Intertribal Timber Council

When: 12:00 p.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: https://youtu.be/VOq6Zf-3I-U



Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands

The Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, led by Chair Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), will hold a legislative hearing titled Wildland Firefighting Workforce Reforms, which will include the following bills and other related measures:

  • H.R. 4274 (Lofgren), To waive limitations on overtime and premium pay for wildland firefighters, and for other purposes. Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act.
  • H.R. 5631 (Neguse), To reform and enhance the pay and benefits of Federal wildland firefighters, and for other purposes. Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act of 2021.



Panel I: Administration Panel

·          Ms. Jaelith Hall-Rivera, Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

·          Mr. Jeffery Rupert (Expected), Director, Office of Wildland Fire, U.S. Department of the Interior 

Panel II: Expert Witness Panel

  • Ms. Kelly Martin, President, Grassroots Wildland Firefighters; Former Chief of Fire and Aviation Management, Yosemite National Park
  • Mr. Lucas Tanner Mayfield, Vice President, Grassroots Wildland Firefighters; Fire Program Manager, Mystery Ranch Backpacks; Former Supervisory Forestry Technician, U.S. Forest Service
  • Mr. Matt Dias (Minority Witness), President and CEO, California Forestry Association

H.R. 5631 was introduced by Chair Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Rep. Katie Porter (D-Colo.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Oct. 19 to address federal wildland firefighter reforms originally discussed at a previous Subcommittee oversight hearing

Even as climate change increases the year-round risk of wildfire, the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service still largely rely on temporary or seasonal firefighting workforces. Comprehensive legislation to overhaul federal firefighter pay, benefits and classification will help modernize the workforce, protect communities and restore fire-adapted landscapes. 

This legislation builds on other recent efforts to address federal wildland firefighter workforce needs, including securing overtime pay and supplemental disaster funding in the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, signed into law on Sept. 30. 

When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: https://youtu.be/-jlDsn0-BP0


Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, led by Chair Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), will hold an oversight hearing titled The Federal Coal Program: A Bad Deal for Taxpayers and a Threat to Climate.

The Department of the Interior announced in August that it would conduct a review of the federal coal leasing program. Currently, the federal coal leasing program does not provide a fair return for the American public or consider the consequences of coal production on climate change, the environment, public health or environmental justice.  

As President Biden heads to the U.N. Climate Change Conference at the end of the month, the U.S. government must consider every pathway to reducing climate-harming emissions by 50%-52% by 2030. The burning of federally owned coal accounts for 13% of total U.S. emissions and is incompatible with the legally binding Paris Agreement. 

As the demand for coal declines, the U.S. government should end new leasing of federal coal and focus on a just and equitable transition to more sustainable economies for affected communities, states and tribes. 



  • Mr. William Walksalong, Tribal Administrator, Northern Cheyenne Tribe
  • Ms. Jeanie Alderson, Chair, Northern Plains Resource Council
  • Dr. Drew Shindell, Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Earth Science, Duke University
  • Mr. Randall Luthi, Chief Energy Advisor, Office of the Governor, State of Wyoming

When: 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: https://youtu.be/Fc5B2dZGbF0

Press Contact

Media Contact: David Shen

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 860-6494 mobile