On January 4, 2022, The Department of Interior published a notice in the Federal Register for “information to inform interagency efforts to develop the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas.” The purpose for the Atlas is to “develop and track a clear baseline of information on lands and waters that are conserved or restored,” under the 30 x 30 initiative.
It is important to note that the notice is only asking for information on how the Atlas should be developed. This is different than most notices where the Administration is asking for public comments for a formal rule making process, where it is necessary to file comments and preserve standing to challenge the action in the future.
Additionally, the notice provides little, if any, substantive information about the Atlas. It is asking for comments for a program that will likely require significant taxpayer dollars, based on a list of principles and goals. In keeping with the two prior reports on 30 x 30, the Administration still fails to provide simple definitions of “conserve,” “restore,” or “protect,” but they want the public to provide comments on how best to catalog the lands that meet these definitions.
You can sign up for one of the three scheduled “listening sessions” using the links below. The comment deadline is March 7, 2022.