The National Association of Counties (NACO), a bipartisan membership organization, adopted a new interim policy on 30 x 30, February 14th. The new policy does challenges the lack of specific detail and transparency from the Administration and advocates for the Western Conservation Principles developed by the U.S. Senate and Congressional Western Caucus. This report calls on the Administration to restore and properly manage the federal government’s existing holdings before attempting to add more lands under the 30 x 30 initiative.
The NACO interim policy reads as follows:
“Issue: The “America the Beautiful” initiative is the Biden Administration’s goal of conserving 30 percent of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030, also known as 30×30. The initiative lacks a clear definition of conservation and setting a land use policy is uniquely a county authority. Agricultural lands in production should not be at risk of having restrictive land use designations placed on them to achieve a 30% conservation goal.
Adopted Policy: The National Association of Counties (NACo) urges the administration and the U.S. Congress to fully adopt the principles of conservation under the U.S. Senate and Congressional Western Caucuses’ Western Conservation Principles issued in September 2021 when considering the definition of conservation under the “America the Beautiful” Initiative.”