DENVER (AP) — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is visiting Denver Thursday to address the federal drought response as Western U.S. states battle historic wildfires and record heat waves.
Haaland and Tanya Trujillo, the department's assistant secretary for water and science, planned to meet with Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, Gov. Jared Polis and Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water, Colorado's largest water agency, for a discussion on the region's drought and possible federal solutions.
Most of western Colorado is under severe to exceptional drought, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Colorado's northern region is experiencing deadly flash floods and mudslides in areas scarred by massive wildfires last year. Extreme conditions are becoming more common from a combination of unusual random, short-term and natural weather patterns heightened by long-term, human-caused climate change.
Fires are burning across the West, especially in Oregon and California, while drought is stressing a Colorado River Basin that sustains 40 million people.
Haaland's three-day visit to the Centennial State also includes a trip to the Bureau of Land Management's Grand Junction headquarters which was established by the Trump administration in 2019. The move from Washington, D.C. produced an outcry from critics who said it gutted the office. Haaland opposed the move as a member of Congress.
PATTEN, Maine (AP) — The head of a Canadian mining company has defended comments in which he touted the state of Maine as a good place to do business because of a lack of rights for tribal groups.
Wolfden Resources wants to develop a precious minerals mine in rural Maine. The chief executive officer of the company, Ron Little, has faced criticism recently because of comments he made during a 2019 presentation to investors in which he said there are “no indigenous rights in the state of Maine'' and that “streamlines the permitting process.''
The Natural Resources Council of Maine, which opposes the mining project, shared the videos with Maine tribes, the Bangor Daily News reported. Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis has described the statement as “obviously not an accurate comment.''
Little told the Bangor Daily News that the statement were taken out of context and his company reached out to Maine tribes more than a year and a half ago. He told the Daily News he made the comment to investors because “one of the biggest risks is that the Indigenous community might have a veto to not allow a project.''
The mining project needs state approvals to go forward.