A much-anticipated report was recently released outlining the 30×30 plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report lays out recommendations for achieving the 30×30 goals. The report was developed by the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Eight principles are highlighted in the report as being the cornerstone of taking a collaborative approach to voluntary conservation across the U.S.
“AFBF appreciates that the report acknowledges concerns we have raised and recognizes the oversized contributions of farmers and ranchers to conservation while feeding the world. That recognition must carry through implementation,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “The report is a philosophical document that emphasizes important principles such as incentive-based voluntary conservation, protecting personal and property rights and continued ranching on public lands, but it lacks specifics. I had several positive conversations with Secretary Vilsack about 30×30 and we will work with him and his colleagues to ensure the details live up to promises made to protect American agriculture.”
The outline for executing the 30×30 plan is based on feedback gathered in the first 100 days of the Biden Administration. Six areas of emphasis have been identified in the report including increased access for outdoor recreation and establishing more parks and outdoor opportunities. The report calls for better incentivization for voluntary conservation efforts and for supporting Tribally led conservation and restoration priorities. Additionally, the report indicates a need for expanding collaborative initiatives and investment in conservation projects to help create jobs.
“We are pleased to see that the administration is taking seriously that conservation is more than just setting land aside. It is really about how we steward the land. The report suggests they understand that economics matter,” said Western Landowners Alliance Executive Director, Lesli Allison. “Farmers and ranchers need to be able to earn a reasonable livelihood providing the many goods and services that society needs, such as food and fiber, but also things like wildlife habitat and healthy forests.”