We can make the 30x30 goal a reality

Today, the Biden administration provided more clarity on its commitment to conserve 30% of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030 with the release of the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report. It is good news for land trusts.

By Andrew Bowman May 6, 2021

Today, the Biden administration provided more clarity on its commitment to conserve 30% of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030 with the release of the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report. It is good news for land trusts.

The report adds a new legitimacy, energy and urgency to our collective work to conserve land. Core to the vision it presents is the acknowledgement that voluntary, locally led private land conservation is essential to reaching the 30x30 goal.

The report explores the role that conservation can play in addressing three challenges to America’s economy and well-being: the disappearance of nature, climate change and inequitable access to the outdoors. And it commits to eight principles and identifies six recommendations to guide early focus areas for this work. Many of these principles are hallmarks of land trusts’ work, including — but not limited to — using the best available science to guide conservation decisions, taking a collaborative and inclusive approach, committing to locally led and designed projects and honoring private property rights.

The report incorporates feedback and input from a wide range of stakeholders, including the Land Trust Alliance. It specifically acknowledges the importance of working lands and includes as one of the six recommended areas of focus a commitment to provide incentives for voluntary conservation practices and to reward ranchers and farmers for being “good stewards of working lands, waters and wildlife habitat.” Moreover, it emphasizes that maintaining ranching on private and public lands is essential.

We are on the cusp of a new era of land conservation in America. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to seize the public’s interest in the power of private land conservation. And we have a grave responsibility to do everything we can to achieve 30x30 for all people living in our communities.

And so the Land Trust Alliance stands ready to work with the administration to secure greater incentives and rewards for voluntary land conservation in America. The land trust community will do its part — in partnership with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, fishers, tribes, government officials and others who make local land conservation so effective — to make the 30x30 goal a reality.

Join us.