Land grabbing 30 x 30
Land grabbing 30 x 30
By Governor Pete Ricketts
July 20, 2021
official governor’s photo here.
On January 27, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed his “Executive Order on Addressing the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”. In that order, President Biden set himself a “goal of conserving at least 30% of our land and water by 2030”. At the time of signing, very little information had been released by the Biden-Harris administration. We only had a few paragraphs of text in the order and a short Home Office fact sheet stating “only 12% of the land is permanently protected”.
As I learned about the 30 x 30 format, I became very concerned because Nebraska has long respected private property rights. 97% of our land in Nebraska is privately owned. Achieving 30 x 30 would require restricting an area the size of nine states of Nebraska, or in other words a landmass twice the size of Texas by 2030. In an effort to learn more about 30 x 30, I led a coalition of 15 governors who wrote to President Biden in April asking for more details. In our letter, we described a series of questions aimed at obtaining more information about the administration’s projects. So far, the president and his agencies have not responded.
To this day, much of what we know about the administration’s plans comes from the environmental groups who invented this lens. Environmental groups have been talking about conserving vast tracts of natural resources for some time. While President Biden’s adoption of this goal may have come as a surprise to some, the concept is nothing new. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which first met in 1992, set a global goal of conserving 17% of the world’s land by 2020 and recently set a new target of 30%. by 2030. Here in the United States, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report in 2019 titled “How Much Nature Should America Keep?” In the report, the CAP not only endorses the 30% target, but also makes arguments that 50% should be guaranteed by 2050.
In May, the Biden-Harris administration released a short report renaming 30 x 30 to “America the Beautiful.” This new report, which touts approvals from a number of environmental groups, provides little new detail on how 30 x 30 will be implemented. There is one notable difference in this report: the report specifies that the administration will consider an “effective conservation continuum” and abandon the “permanently protected” language previously used by the Home Office.
As of May, no new 30×30 details have been released, but environmental groups who want the goal have stepped up their promotion of the initiative. As federal agencies and environmental groups try to sell the 30×30 land grab to the public, here are two myths you may continue to hear.
First, environmental groups will say that science requires us to protect 30% of our land and water, but even they will admit that 30 x 30 is not based on science. The CAP 2019 report states: “Science should inform this debate … But numbers alone cannot adequately answer the question of what part of the land, water and wildlife of the United States the country wants. protect. In addition, the so-called “America the Beautiful” report shows even more clearly that this goal is not about science by refusing to define the term “conservation”. How are we supposed to know what is being conserved or even what is the purpose of “preservation” when the federal government does not define it? By opting for ambiguity, the Biden-Harris administration has left the door open to radical demands by environmental groups and their lofty ambitions for increased federal control over our lands and waters.
Second, the “America the Beautiful” report argues that 30 x 30 will rely on voluntary programs – a statement that is misleading at best. According to the Biden-Harris administration, we are at 12% of the land conserved today using existing conservation programs. There is no way to reach 30% using existing voluntary programs. These programs have been around for decades, and there’s no reason to think you’ll go from 12% to 30% over the next nine years just by using them. Either the Biden-Harris administration will fail or it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Here in Nebraska, we don’t expect more details from the Biden-Harris administration and the radical environmental groups who are their closest allies on the 30×30. We are taking action to stop the land grab. 30×30. Over half of the counties in Nebraska have passed resolutions formally opposing the 30×30. Last month, I hosted county commissioners and farm leaders in Lincoln to sign an executive order to stop implementation of the 30×30. Under this order, the State of Nebraska will provide training to counties to help them stop 30×30, and provide better oversight of state-run conservation programs.
Whether it’s the 30 x 30 land grab or the expansion of US waters, the federal government is trying to gain more control over private property. As President Biden and his agencies continue to roll out their plans, Nebraska will work to push back against federal excesses. If you have any questions on this or any other topic, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 402-471-2244. Together, we can protect the rights of the Nebraskans to be good stewards of our lands and waters.