On July 1, 2023, the State of Vermont became the first in the nation to require permanent protection of 50 percent of the land within its borders.
As has been reported many times in Liberty Matters, achieving protection of 30 percent of America’s land and ocean is only the first step in the Biden conservation agenda. Their next target is to require protection of 50 percent of our land. Vermont is now first in line.
The Vermont bill clearly defines their conservation objective:
“It is the goal of the State that 30 percent of Vermont’s total land area shall be conserved by 2030, and 50 percent of the State’s total land area shall be conserved by 2050. The Secretary of Natural Resources shall lead the effort in achieving these goals. The land conserved shall include State, federal, municipal, and private land.”
“Conserved” means permanently protected and meeting the definition of ecological reserve area, biodiversity conservation area, or natural resource management area …” [emphasis added].
This is land that will be managed in its natural state. What uses may be allowed will be tightly controlled under a morass of government rules.
Republican Governor Phil Scott could have vetoed the bill, but instead allowed it to go into effect without his signature. His statement of explanation to the House Members was as follows:
“I’m letting this bill go into law because this bill puts the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) in a stronger position to direct how state and federal conservation funding is targeted and prioritized in the future.”
There is no mention by anyone about protecting the private property rights of the citizens whose land will be taken, making private landowners in Vermont high value targets of the program.
The Sierra Club issued a press release on the enactment of the bill. They claim that Vermont is one of five states that have enacted 30×30 targets. The others are Maine, New York, Maryland and California. But Vermont is the first to require protection of 50 percent of the land. According to the Club, they may also be the first government in the world to do so.
The State agencies and environmental NGO’s can now finish filling in the details of the State’s conservation framework, which already has in place a target map showing the areas that need to be prioritized for acquisition and protection.
“The great thing about having a strategic plan to accomplish the goals of the statute is that we look like a place to fund,” stated Trey Martin, director of Conservation and Rural Community Development at the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB). “So, whether it’s the Forest Legacy Program, or the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or Natural Resources Conservation Service, or America the Beautiful, we want [federal agencies] looking at Vermont and saying ‘Vermont’s got its act together with respect to biodiversity, conservation, and climate resilience.’”
Apparently, the American taxpayer is expected to fund their “confiscation by conservation” program.
Welcome to the new socialist State of Vermont.