Rep. Boebert Opposes Radical 30 by 30 Program
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) joined 12 Senate Members and 50 House Members of the Western Caucus in sending a letter to President Biden raising concerns and asking clarifying questions about his executive order establishing a directive to place land-use restrictions on 30% of American lands and waters by 2030.
Congresswoman Boebert stated: “Over 90% of federal land is located west of the Mississippi, and westerners are wary of federal efforts to disproportionately seize more of their land through the misguided 30 by 30 initiative that aims to lock up 30% of the United States’ land and waters in the next 9 years. The West is already leading the way on responsible conservation efforts, and our long outdoor heritage demonstrates that multiple-use is not contrary to environmental protection. We do not need more federal government overreach and control of our land and water, and I will always fight to protect private property, preserve local control, and defend the economy from radical legislation.”
The federal government already manages 640 million of acres of land, the vast majority of which is in the West. Rep. Boebert is concerned that the federal government may use the 30 by 30 initiative to undermine private property rights and put more land in a Democrat landlock since the Biden Administration has stated that private lands are not exempt from its radical land-use policy. The West has seen many federal land grabs over the years, but this program drastically raises the stakes.
Rep. Boebert supports scientific land management that recognizes that multiple-use activities such as grazing and timber harvesting are effective tools to conserve landscapes. The West’s history of economic and environmental leadership demonstrates that conservation and economic development are not mutually exclusive, and together they help strengthen local communities.
Rather than bureaucrats, local stakeholders know how to best manage their resources. Rather than trampling on counties across the country with overarching mandates—like locking up 30% of the United States’ land and waters over the next 9 years—Rep. Boebert believes that the federal government should partner with local communities to create economic and conservation policies that steward our resources in a responsible and practical way.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
More than 100 years ago, the National Park Service was founded as a program to protect 35 established national monuments including the very first national park. In the years to follow, America continued to build upon this conservation legacy—enacting laws on a bipartisan basis to ensure conservation and stewardship principles were the foundation of public land management. However, over the last two decades, litigation, preservationist ideology, bureaucratic processes, and executive actions have undermined multiple-use and sustained yield statutory mandates—particularly in the West. It is for this reason that we write to express our concern regarding the lack of information and ambiguous goals for the Biden Administration’s Executive Order establishing a directive to protect at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030 (30 by 30).
The lack of detail accompanying this goal, the inability of your nominee for Secretary of the Interior – author of the mirroring legislation – to answer questions about this initiative, and the fact that this effort is spear-headed by an unconfirmed appointee housed in the National Climate Task Force has resulted in numerous concerns raised by those who live, work, and recreate on and near public lands. The federal government manages 640 million acres of land, over 90% of which is west of the Mississippi. Given our wide-open spaces, large-scale landscapes, and significant federal ownership, Western states will be disproportionately impacted by policies set in place to achieve the 30 by 30 goal, which we fear will impact revenues-derived and jobs that depend upon multiple-use public lands.
We urge you to remember that land management agencies are bound by a statutory-based multiple-use mandate. Our lands and our waters must remain open to activities that support our rural economies and help us to achieve our agriculture, timber, recreation, energy, and mineral needs. These multiple-uses are not only compatible with conservation ambitions, but they are an effective means to achieve these goals. Healthy lands and sustainable wildlife are inherent to our hunting, recreation, and sportsmen opportunities. Activities such as grazing and timber harvest are oftentimes the most effective tool to restore and sustain landscapes. Bonding requirements, reclamation standards, and mitigation directives ensure that extractive industries leave the land better than they found it—in addition, these activities fund several conservation programs. Each use goes through extensive environmental review and public comment.
The West is already paving the way on conservation. Stewardship of our lands is embedded in our Western values. Sustainable, healthy land is the lifeblood of our rural communities and our outdoor heritage and rural economies thrive when our lands are properly managed. While the Administration has implied that multiple-use is not contrary to conservation, recent activities that attack key industries suggests otherwise. Multiple-use is compatible with conservation, and the United States Geological Survey has already illustrated 30% of our lands are in some degree of conservation status. Recently, the Administration has clarified that private lands are included in this initiative, setting the stage for potential egregious federal overreach. While these lands contribute to overall conservation, subjecting private landowners to this nebulous federal program is an extreme breach of private property rights. More clarity is desperately needed.
Therefore, we remain concerned that the 30 by 30 initiative will be used as a method to undermine private property rights, circumvent the multiple-use mandate, and lock up more land.
Conservation remains a top priority for Western congressional members, and our constituents’ lives and livelihoods rely upon a healthy, actively-managed landscape. However, the 30 by 30 initiative displays a dangerous thoughtlessness and far too many of our questions have been left unanswered. It is also our understanding that key constituencies have yet to be engaged on this initiative. As such, we respectfully urge you to provide state and local governments, the energy, minerals, and agriculture sectors, tribes, sportsmen, and recreationists an equitable and meaningful voice in the process. We also request a detailed briefing with the signers of this letter within 60 days of the Executive Order being signed.