What is This?
By Dennis Sun
On January 27, an executive order was signed by President Biden called the 30 by 30 Plan. The goal of this plan would place 30 percent of U.S. lands and 30 percent of U.S. waters under federal jurisdiction by the year 2030.
Since Jan. 27, farmers and ranchers have really not heard too much about the plan. We read where those in the western environmental sector thought it was a great plan for the country. So we were suspicious the plan would go against ranching and farming and also hurt communities who partake in multiple use of the public lands in the West.
The president is expected to outline this plan during the Leaders’ Climate Summit on April 22-23. The summit coincides with the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Paris Agreement and also Earth Day. President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to the virtual summit.
We don’t know which federal agencies will manage the plan, but we do know the Department of Interior is responsible for developing the report and then the report goes to the National Climate Task Force.
The goals of the plan are to be guided by science, work toward a more equitable and inclusive version for nature conservation, support private land conservation, support locally led conservation efforts, honor the sovereignty of Tribal and indigenous communities, secure public access and improve recreational opportunities. Are you starting to get worried?
The use of the federal government’s buying power and real property and asset management is mentioned in the document. The executive order states one goal of the plan is for the federal government to conserve or buy around 440 million acres by the year of 2030. Readers, this amount of land is twice the size of Texas!
We do know in 2020, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act of 2020 which gave the federal government $900 million each year to purchase private lands. Agriculture fought this part of the act, but it passed Congress and was signed by President Trump.
Nothing we have read talks about private property rights, multiple use on the public lands or the businesses and communities they support.
As one can imagine, everyone will have their sights set on western lands, and I’m sure the sage grouse will come up time and time again. We know potential wilderness areas will be turned into pure wilderness, grazing will probably become a negative in the climate change world – especially in the forest lands. What will happen to timbering, new energy development and state management of wolves and grizzlies, among numerous other issues?
We do have a safety net in Wyoming where the government can’t declare a monument designation. The Antiquities Act doesn’t apply to Alaska and Wyoming, but private lands can be sold to the government.
There is a lot of negativity for ranchers and farmers with this plan, and we still don’t know much about it. There is language in the executive order where the president wants input on how to make the plan work from all the stakeholders involved.
It could be an opportunity to again discuss the benefits of grazing and timbering through carbon capture, as well as the need for those involved in agriculture to feed the world and for companies of all types of energy production to power the world. One can’t lock up 440 million acres and have a stable economy and thriving communities.
Remember, this president needs someone to tax.