President Biden Executive Order Mandates a Nationwide 30 X 30 Conservation Plan

A provision in President Joe Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14008, titled “Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity across the Federal Government,” promises to recast the nation’s conservation practices for decades to come.

Section 216 of the January 27 EO calls on the United States to “achieve the goal of preserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

A Department of Interior “fact sheet” on what has come to be referred to as the “30 X 30 Plan” states “only 12 percent of lands are permanently protected,” adding the same is true for 23 percent of the nation’s waters. The EO leaves unexplained how the amount of land protected is to be raised to “at least” 30 percent in nine years.

The White House directed federal agencies to produce implementation strategies to carry out the order within 90 days. When the resulting 22-page document, “America the Beautiful,” was released on May 6, instead of providing specifics concerning how to reach the goal of protecting 30 percent of U.S. land and water, the document was a litany of generalities about the importance of biodiversity and the urgency of confronting climate change.

The federal government currently owns about 27 percent of the America’s land. Yet the Biden administration argues only 12 percent of in the United States land is protected. As a result, it is unclear where the additional land and water is going to come from to obtain protection of 30 percent of the United States by 2030.

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