(Liberty Matters News Service) In a letter signed by 18 Democrats from the U.S. House Natural Resource Committee, the group encourages the Biden Administration to take meaningful action to implement 30 x 30, and offers their help: “we stand by to leverage our experience and offer our suggestions in support of the America the Beautiful Initiative.” The letter was not signed by any Republicans on the committee, nor did nine Democrat members add their signature.
The letter states that “While no one bill could encapsulate the full scope of conservation and restoration need, the emphasis on using a variety of actions, from federal designations to voluntary conservation easements, is an important step to ensure that we are advancing conservation in every American community.” (Emphasis added) It goes on to provide advice to the Administration on actions they should take to implement 30 x 30, which include:
Develop a clear, actionable, and measurable plan for achieving targeted conservation outcomes, and provide Congress with a roadmap of staffing and resource needs to achieve these goals.
Provide additional operational funding and increase staffing at the relevant land and resource management agencies.
Empower Federal agencies and ensure a vested role and direct responsibility to engage with stakeholders.
Fund badly needed land and coastal restoration efforts on public and private lands across the country, with a focus on community climate resilience.
Target Conservation Investments to climate-critical ecosystems.
Support Funding for Environmental Justice communities.
Protect key wildlife corridors and connectivity between protected areas.
Provide additional funding for agency planning.
Provide funding for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, and ensure all communities are heard.
Fund mapping efforts and improve the utilization of geospatial data in a manner that goes beyond a Conservation and Stewardship Atlas.
Support a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) led inventory and continual monitoring of land and resource conditions.
One theme prevalent throughout the letter is encouraging the Administration to survey and catalog the state of land use and conservation efforts across the nation. The last bullet point in the letter is explained as follows:
“To set a meaningful baseline for the America the Beautiful Initiative, USGS could be charged with inventorying the current state of conservation in the United States. This inventory, performed with the help of the Civilian Climate Corps, could provide essential information to help resource managers perform conservation planning and to support conservation and climate benefits on our working lands. Furthermore, with the help of these trained volunteers, USGS could then support the monitoring of ecosystems for adaptive management to ensure that we are achieving the conservation outcomes intend under America the Beautiful.”
Landowners can expect to see increased efforts to access and survey their lands for this purpose. It is important to note that the Supreme Court’s decision in Cedar Point, discussed earlier, reaffirms a key element in the bundle of property rights, is the right to “exclude.” However, this right is forfeited if the landowner consents to the access, such as through a conservation easement or other conservation programs.
While the Democrats letter fully supports the President’s 30 x 30 initiative, it is also politely critical of the lack of detail and direction offered in the “America the Beautiful” report released by the National Climate Task Force last May. The Democrats state:
“Starting from this roadmap, you should work with stakeholders and Congress to develop a clear, long-term conservation plan, with actionable and measurable outcomes, to ensure we are providing the essential protections necessary to secure nature and the climate. Once this plan is in place, we would encourage your administration to provide Congress a clear indication of the resources and staffing necessary to achieve this plan.
The 30 x 30 initiative was launched in America by a very small, radical faction of the progressive movement. Key advocates of this agenda are now installed in critical positions in the new Administration, primarily Vice President Harris and Interior Secretary Haaland. However, as this land grab has been exposed, the Administration has tried to rebrand the agenda, coax landowners into voluntarily signing onto the effort, and claim they cannot determine how to define “conserve,” all while admonishing Americans for destroying habitat.
The small handful of Democrats who signed onto this letter are advocating for the Administration to take a more aggressive stand, guided by a transparent action plan.