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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

What Is It?

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

For the last couple of months, we’ve all been hearing about the 30×30 Plan to protect 30 percent of the nation’s land by 2030, and the extension of this plan we are hearing about, to ultimately protect 50 percent by the year of 2050. 

The initiative to reach the 30 percent goal is called “America the Beautiful.” There are around 50 countries pledged to do the same.  

This initiative is to redefine what we now know as conservation. Currently, close to 12 percent of America’s land is protected and some of us think this number is plenty. This 12 percent doesn’t cover farm and ranch lands currently enrolled in conservation easements. 

In a major departure from conservation efforts of centuries past, the new initiative makes the sovereignty and rights of Tribal nations a core part. White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said, “We want to make sure we understand and take advantage of working lands.”  

She also said, “Tribal nations have been serving as stewards of their land since time immemorial.”  

A report written for the new initiative says over the next decade, the government will support Tribal-led conservation efforts and make restoring Indigenous homeland a priority. It also calls on federal agencies to help Tribal nations access programs which offer funding for conservation projects and to engage with Indigenous people in the management of public land and water.  

Also, the U.S. conservation movement is increasingly aware it needs to right past wrongs, such as when Tribes were removed from their lands in the name of protecting “pristine” landscapes, such as when the government created Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack said, “There is no intent to take land away from farmers. The goal here is to create new opportunities.”  

Vilsack also said they want to incentivize farmers and ranchers to use the tools offered by USDA to compensate and pay them for being good stewards of their land. 

I understand this whole initiative is being driven by radical environmental groups and progressives thinking this is the way to control climate change and to reduce greenhouse gases. The way this administration is going about describing the initiative and its goals, I feel they are bypassing science.  

They haven’t shown data of what their conservation or protection looks like in the report and more important, how they expect those who currently utilize these lands to sustainably feed and power the nation. 

New Mexico State University Professor Jerry G. Schickedaniz said in a recent opinion – which I surely agree with – “When land is protected with no use or management, the concept of ‘the Balance of Nature’ is envisioned by the general public and is widely believed. It appears in health food brand names and news sources everywhere. It has been promoted in movies such as the ‘Lion King’ when Mufasa explains to his son Simba, ‘Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance.’ However, this is an enduring myth, as nature is not in balance nor has it been. Man became part of the equation and Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is at play all the time. The earth has been warming and cooling, with wetter and dryer cycles since the beginning of time and changes have been occurring concurrently to the fauna and flora worldwide.”  

The big question is, when are we going to find out how this initiative is going to work or will it just happen? 

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