(Lander, WY) – Governor Mark Gordon hosted U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today. The visit was an opportunity to discuss a range of topics and for the Governor to advocate for Wyoming. The Secretary of Interior oversees many federal-owned lands, which are essential to Wyoming’s economy and way of life.
The Governor started the day on the Wind River Reservation to dedicate the Path of Honor – Wind River Veterans Memorial, a tribute to military service members and veterans who live within the boundaries of the Wind River Reservation.
The Department of Interior is responsible for honoring the federal government’s trust responsibilities and special commitments to American Indians. The pair met with elected officials in Lander, discussed the Governor’s work on addressing the issue of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons and discussed migration corridors and energy projects.
“This has been a valuable opportunity for the Secretary to see firsthand the critical nature of federal lands for Wyoming people. I appreciated her taking the time to be here and to listen to Wyoming perspectives on how her Department has significant impacts on the lives of those who live, work and recreate on federal lands,” Governor Gordon said. “One key topic for me was our energy and mining industries. I continue to stress how much the mineral industry has done for our state, its importance to our economy, and the impacts and issues created by the Biden Administration’s actions.”
The Governor urged Secretary Haaland to hold the Bureau of Land Management’s postponed March and June 2021 oil and gas lease sales. In June, a judge blocked the Biden Administration’s oil and gas leasing “pause” on federal lands.
Governor Gordon and Secretary Haaland discussed the Governor’s Migration Corridor Executive Order and how it supports the conservation of mule deer and pronghorn populations and accommodates multiple-use opportunities while protecting private property rights. The Governor emphasized the state’s efforts to work with industry partnerships to protect wildlife and minimize on-the-ground disturbance.
Other topics included: the importance of federal lands in Wyoming; invasive species’ impact on habitat; endangered species; state-led management of grizzly bears; the Bureau of Reclamation; and the Wyoming sage-grouse plan.