Skip to Content

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

Heart of Ag: National Assets Companies Proposal Withdrawn

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Folks, the attacks on our private property rights continue, and the more I dig, the more alarmed I am at the sinister, multi-faceted agenda to strip good-hearted Americans off of the land to enrich the corporate elite.

Picture this. Your family is a multi-generation steward of the land. You’ve planted the trees. You’ve added in rotational grazing. You’ve incorporated cover crops into your rotation. You’ve left buffer strips and habitat for pheasants, deer and other wildlife. You’ve raised your family and done what is right, putting in the long hours, sacrificing to pay off the land note and paid the taxes, all while having been an active part of your community.

In a nutshell, you’re living the American dream. It’s yours. You’ve worked hard for it. Your children have learned and grown while watching you build a legacy. It’s fruitful. It’s fulfilling. It’s challenging. But, there’s joy in it, and there’s nothing you would rather do.

And then some fancy suit on the coast starts trading your assets on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a pathway for a new type of investment, known as natural asset companies (NACs). 

The idea behind it is to list companies which would like to focus on climate change and could invest to reduce their environmental impact.

Here’s the kicker – it’s using your land, your natural resources and your hard work. Not their own.

According to E&E News, “The financial services firm Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG), which launched the idea two years ago and has drawn support from the NYSE and groups like the Rockefeller Foundation, says it would give investors interested in preserving nature a place to put their money.”

“We were looking for a private-sector approach that wasn’t dependent on policy, traditional taxes, regulation or philanthropy to price in these assets and give investors the opportunity to invest directly in nature, whether it’s for climate or biodiversity,” said IEG Chair Douglas Eger, who compared their approach to improvements on public lands to a mining claim or a timber lease or utilizing air rights on private lands.

E&E News reported, “Instead of a lease to extract ore or cut down trees, however, NACs would ink agreements granting them ‘ecological performance rights.’ Where a successful mining claim is intended to result in the collection of ore, the value of the ecological rights would be judged on a series of factors, ranging from data on carbon storage and sequestration to more ephemeral qualities like the ‘sensory benefits’ of a nice view.”

As I was writing this column, my intent was to warn readers this was coming, to share some of the pitfalls that lie ahead if it were to go through and to alert everyone of the comment period where they could voice their opinions.

But as I typed, I received a text from a friend, “Amanda, good news – the NACs proposal is dead.”

Apparently, the SEC received so many comments from landowners on this issue it temporarily shut down their entire site. 

According to Yahoo! Finance, “The NYSE has withdrawn from the SEC a proposal to create a new tradeable asset class – NACs – the commission said. The asset class was to be based on sustainable enterprises which hold the rights to ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, produced by natural, working or hybrid lands.”

In a press release, Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks applauded NYSE’s withdrawal of its plan.

“‘Under the proposal, private interests, including foreign-controlled sovereign wealth funds, could use their capital to purchase or manage farmland, national and state parks and other mineral-rich areas and stop essential economic activities like farming, grazing and energy extraction,” Oaks said.

There’s a lot coming at landowners, farmers, ranchers and our private property rights in this country. It’s coming from multiple directions, and it can be overwhelming to track it all, combat it, slow it down and preserve and protect what’s ours.

But, this announcement highlights how powerful the people in the heart of rural America can be when they lock arms, stand together and speak up. 

Keep standing up. Our voices and our impact is more powerful than we know. The little guy takes a big win on this one – for now – and although I’m sure they’ll be back with some new ridiculous proposal, today I’m smiling at the victory. 

Amanda Radke is a rancher, author, motivational speaker and podcast host. For more from Radke, visit

  • Posted in Columnists
  • Comments Off on Heart of Ag: National Assets Companies Proposal Withdrawn
Back to top