In this opinion piece, Michael Crowder with the National Association of Conservation Districts offers guidance regarding the definition to “conserve” within the Biden administration’s America the Beautiful proposal.
First paragraph: With the Fourth of July this past weekend, we’re reminded of the lyrics in “America the Beautiful,” and it’s no wonder the Biden administration adopted this name for its ambitious 30×30 initiative to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s lands by 2030. Our diverse landscapes – from farm and forest lands to rangelands to tribal lands to urban areas – all need investment in conservation, and with increasingly prevalent and severe weather events, they’re under greater threat every day. While the President’s proposed budget allocated funding for its implementation, the America the Beautiful plan has yet to clearly define what it means to “conserve.”
Last paragraph: The America the Beautiful proposal must strongly and clearly integrate working lands into the definition of conservation. By doing so, we can also consider it an investment in America the Bountiful. By clearly defining conservation beyond the narrow scope of preservation, we’ll be able to meet the goals set forth by the administration and do what is best for all lands at the local level.
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