NM water lawyer appointed to Interior Department - Albuquerque Journal

NM water lawyer appointed to Interior Department

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Tanya Trujillo, who was appointed to the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in July 2019, has joined the Biden administration’s Interior Department.

The water lawyer and native New Mexican will serve as the principal deputy assistant secretary for water and science. The position oversees the work of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Tanya Trujillo testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 2013. Trujillo, who has served on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, will join the Biden administration.

Trujillo was one of more than 20 whose appointments to Interior leadership positions were announced last week.

Jennifer Van der Heide, Biden’s incoming Interior chief of staff, said the team members “exude talent and experience.”

“We look forward to working with the dedicated civil servants at the Department to fulfill Interior’s missions, advance President Biden’s vision to honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes and uphold the trust and treaty responsibilities to them, address the climate and nature crises, and build a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs and powers our nation,” Van der Heide said.

Trujillo has made a name for herself in the water world with her expertise on Colorado River supply issues, calls for “prudent water management” and negotiations of Native American water rights settlements.

She has worked as the lower basin project director for the Colorado Sustainability Campaign and the executive director of the Colorado River Board of California.

Her departure leaves a vacancy on a New Mexico commission responsible for big state water decisions.

In 2020, Trujillo voted to end planning work on the Gila Diversion project. The state had spent more than $16 million planning a controversial project to dam and divert the Gila River for farmers in southwestern New Mexico.

Trujillo said at the June 2020 ISC meeting that the group should instead find a balanced approach to spending federal money on water infrastructure that would benefit all residents.

“I do strongly urge us to find a path forward to continue to work on planning efforts in southwest New Mexico,” she said.

On Tuesday, the commission elected Bidtah Becker as vice chair, a position previously held by Trujillo.

“I have huge shoes to fill,” Becker said.

The power to appoint a new commissioner lies with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Trujillo received degrees from Stanford University and the University of Iowa College of Law.

She worked as an Interior Department lawyer during the Obama administration. Her résumé also includes work as general counsel to the Interstate Stream Commission, legislative aide to former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.,and as an advisory board member for the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust.

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.


Home » News » New Mexico News » NM water lawyer appointed to Interior Department

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Hamill: Tax administration is not the right venue for ...
ABQnews Seeker
COLUMN: We should expect that AI ... COLUMN: We should expect that AI tools have significant deficiencies in administering tax laws if their decisions are not human-reviewed.
Annual South Valley Pride Day celebration opens application for ...
ABQnews Seeker
South Valley Pride Day opens applications ... South Valley Pride Day opens applications and nominations for April event.
FBI raid nets fentanyl, meth, guns and cash
ABQnews Seeker
An FBI raid of two Albuquerque ... An FBI raid of two Albuquerque area homes on Thursday led to the discovery of around 1 ...
Hobbs police officer shoots and injures teenager in stolen ...
ABQnews Seeker
Hobbs police were called to a ... Hobbs police were called to a fight involving several people at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday. An officer shot a 17-year-old who was driving a ...
A basketball decision: Josiah Allick opens up on opting ...
ABQnews Seeker
Josiah Allick, a fan favorite who ... Josiah Allick, a fan favorite who many assumed would be back for the Lobos, entered the transfer portal. In his own words, he tells ...
'They made a statement by hiring a guy like ...
ABQnews Seeker
"I think they made a statement ... "I think they made a statement when they hired a guy like me," said Jason Hooten, who came from Sam Houston State and was ...
At 41, Holly Holm continues to evolve as a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque's Holm, who at age 41 ... Albuquerque's Holm, who at age 41 has signed a six-fight contract extension with the UFC, soundly defeated Yana Santos — a mere kid of ...
APD reviewed every 2022 police shooting. Here are the ...
ABQnews Seeker
New equipment and training are among ... New equipment and training are among the actions proposed by the Albuquerque Police leadership group.
Meteorologists say El Niño typically brings wetter weather to ...
ABQnews Seeker
With the departure of La Niña, ... With the departure of La Niña, New Mexicans can expect to see lower temperatures and wetter weather in wintertime, a meteorologist said.