Chair Grijalva Applauds Department of Interior’s New Efforts to Advance Tribal Co-Management of Public Lands and Waters

Washington, D.C. – Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) announcement of new guidance to advance tribal co-management of U.S. public lands and waters. The guidance supports the directives of Joint Secretarial Order on Fulfilling the Trust Responsibility to Indian Tribes in the Stewardship of Federal Lands and Waters, signed by DOI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture at last year’s White House Tribal Nations Summit.

“Long before we had national parks or monuments, our public lands and waters belonged to Indigenous peoples,” Chair Grijalva said. “Since time immemorial, they have maintained a deep connection to these resources through Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. As we have seen at Bears Ears and other sites, tribal co-management of public lands can greatly enhance land management practices. I appreciate Secretary Haaland’s leadership in making tribal co-management a priority at Interior and I look forward to continuing to work with this administration to make it standard practice.”

DOI’s announcement follows a letter that Chair Grijalva and 42 other members of Congress sent to President Joe Biden last week, asking him to seek opportunities to expand tribal co-management of public lands, waters, and resources. The letter outlined several specific recommendations – including completion of the released guidance – based on expert testimony from the Committee’s hearing on tribal co-management in March. 

Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will hold a hearing on three bills introduced by Chair Grijalva earlier this year. Together, these bills will advance tribal co-management principles and models:

  • H.R. 8108, the Advancing Tribal Parity on Public Land Act (fact sheet here)
  • H.R. 8109, the Tribal Cultural Areas Protection Act (fact sheet here)
  • H.R. 8719, the Great Bend of the Gila Conservation Act (fact sheet here)

The hearing will be held tomorrow, Sept. 14, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and can be watched live here: https://youtu.be/iF3j9tSkahM

Press Contact

Media Contact: Lindsay Gressard

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