Biden’s ‘30 by 30’ conservation plan urges collaboration with private landowners

More than 45,000 acres in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in Arizona are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Biden administration’s 10-year plan to conserve 30% of U.S. land by 2030 does not say whether such existing conservation areas would count toward its goal./Photo by Bob Wick | Bureau of Land Management

By Jacob Fischler | Arizona Mirror

The Biden administration plans to broadly define conservation and encourage private landowners to adopt sustainable practices to meet a goal of protecting 30 percent of the land and water in the U.S. by 2030, according to a multi-agency report published Thursday.

The recommendations are short of the most aggressive federal directives congressional Republicans feared would be central to reaching the administration’s “30 by 30” goal, but may still spark objections in a Congress deeply split on how the government should manage its public lands and deal with private landowners, particularly in the West.

Some Republicans already had accused the administration of engineering a “land grab” before seeing the details of the highly anticipated plan.

The report, compiled by the departments of Interior and Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was required under an ambitious executive order President Joe Biden signed a week after taking office that committed the administration to conserving 30% of U.S. acreage by 2030.

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