Statement from SCA CEO and President Stephanie Meeks on U.S. Senate Confirmation of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior

“The Student Conservation Association applauds the historic Senate confirmation U.S. Representative Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior. The first Native American Cabinet Secretary, Ms. Haaland brings a wealth of additional credentials and credibility to her new post: a respected member of Congress and vice-chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, a successful businesswoman, and a former tribal administrator.

“SCA looks forward to working with Secretary Haaland to meet Interior’s stewardship goals and to build the next generation of conservation leaders. SCA is also prepared to assist the Biden Administration in addressing the climate crisis, strengthening the economy, and advancing social justice through its proposed Civilian Climate Corps. These pursuits are very much aligned with SCA’s mission and will help forge a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable United States.

“For more than 60 years, SCA has engaged teenagers and young adults from all backgrounds in hands-on service on America’s public lands. We have recruited, trained, and deployed thousands of young leaders from rural, suburban, and urban communities across the nation. SCA participants have made substantial contributions to the protection and restoration of our nation’s most treasured places, and in the majority of cases these transformative experiences have led to extraordinary green careers. Seventy percent of SCA’s more than 95,000 alumni are currently employed or studying in a conservation-related field.

“In just the past five years, SCA members have rendered more than six million hours of service nationwide. They have ensured recreational assess to nature by building or maintaining 9,000 miles of trail, fostered park and community resiliency by planting 140,000 trees, restored nearly three-quarters of a million acres of threatened habitat, and advanced environmental stewardship through education and outreach to some two million public lands visitors.

“The Department of the Interior and SCA have maintained a strong and vital partnership since the first SCA volunteers reported for service in 1957, and we welcome the opportunity to work with Secretary Haaland and extend our joint record of accomplishment on behalf of America’s rich natural and cultural heritage.”