Biden 30×30 Land Grab Now Totals 24 Million Acres; Why it’s Important and Why You Should Care

Resulting from President Joe Biden signing Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, 30 x 30, our federal government has created lofty goals for “restoring” land, water, and wildlife in the U.S. Also known as “America the Beautiful,” the 30×30 initiative is a U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) led effort. Its goal is to “Connect and conserve 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 for the sake of our economy, our health, and our well-being.”

Government Snares 12.5 Million Acres in 2023, Doubling to 24 Million

Washington, D.C. based liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) was quick to praise and promote the “preservation” done by 30×30 in 2023. A CAP report boasted that 30×30 “conserved” more than 12.5 million acres in the U.S. for 2023, bringing the total land accrued to nearly 24 million acres thus far “conserved.” CAP also touted the $18 billion in taxpayer dollars used for 30×30 “conservation” efforts.

An American Stewards of Liberty article listed the largest chunks of lands included in 2023’s 12.5 million acres:

  • 10,600,000 acres for Western Arctic protections by closing oil and gas leasing in Alaska;
  • 325,000 acres for Chaco Canyon mineral withdrawal in New Mexico;
  • 242,000 acres nationwide for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Wetland Conservation projects;
  • 223,504 acres for mineral withdrawal in Minnesota’s national forest;
  • 130,000 acres for lease relinquishments in Montana’s national forest.

As part of his 2023 30×30 efforts, Biden also created and/or restored seven national monuments, pulling approximately 3.5 million acres into the “protection” of 30×30. Through the creation of four new monuments, Biden is “protecting” almost two million acres, according to the CAP report. The four new monuments include:

  • 917,618 acres for the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona;
  • 506,814 acres for Avi Kwa Arne National Monument in Nevada;
  • 6,672 acres for the Castner Range National Monument in Texas;
  • 5.7 acres for the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument across Chicago and Mississippi.

Not included in the $18 billion total referenced above is the $1.7 billion for the first round of the Inflation Reduction Act grantees for farm bill conservation programs announced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2023. Inflation Reduction Act awards are given for “climate-smart agriculture and conservation,” according to CAP.

CAP’s report strongly recommends America keep charging forward with 30×30, stating: “…administration should not be shy in utilizing every tool at its disposal as it approaches 2024. Doing so will put communities first and keep the country on track toward achieving 30×30.” Sadly, CAP and the Biden administration blatantly disregard 30×30’s significant downsides that adversely impact all Americans.

Creating Challenges for American Agriculture

The American ranching community is incurring the most significant downside from the 30×30 land grab. On a larger scale, every American will be impacted by the harm to ranching. Limitations on federally managed public grazing lands that have no other productive use will reduce the volume of food produced in the U.S., especially beef.

In April 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a proposed rule change titled Strengthening the Stewardship of America’s Public Land, according to a Protect The Harvest Article on government limiting access to public lands. The rule change is a byproduct of 30×30. It is in direct conflict with the longstanding multiple-use mandate applied to public lands. The multiple-use mandate provides grazing allotments to ranchers for livestock use. BLM’s new rule alters the way productive elements of rural economies across the country function. The use of public lands for mining, grazing, logging, and gas and oil leases is beneficial to the nation’s economy, rural communities, consumers, national security, and food independence. Apparently, as unelected bureaucrats, BLM leadership and staff have no concerns engaging in a massive land grab to promote the underlying anti-agriculture 30×30 message.

The so-called “sustainability” effort 30×30 tackles is a non-issue created by environmental extremists and vegan-agenda-driven animal rights activists. Caught in this ideological assault are American ranchers who have taken sustainability seriously for generations and are much better natural resource stewards than government bureaucrats. The responsibility for resources and their wise use is reflected in how ranchers take care of their grazing allotments, according to a Protect The Harvest article on ranching in the West. Many grazing allotments have been cared for and used by the same families for generations. This is in contrast to the narrative that agriculture opposes sustainability.

Unfortunately, according to the same Protect The Harvest article on the BLM limiting access to public lands, the number of livestock grazed on federally managed lands has declined by more than 70 percent since the 1970s. Thankfully, due to improved cattle genetics, ranchers produce more beef now with fewer cattle while using fewer resources.

Roughly 40 percent of the nation’s beef cattle and 50 percent of sheep spend time on federally managed land, which will become an increasingly larger issue if the volume of available land continues to dwindle as more is placed in conservation, off limits to Americans, including ranchers. The economy will suffer, as DOI numbers indicate that $1.5 billion is contributed annually to the U.S. economy from federally managed lands.

Feeding the growing population is a global effort that will be affected by the reduction of public lands in America. The world population is expected to increase to as many as 10 billion people by 2050. The use of U.S. public lands to produce nutritious, safe, abundant, high-quality, affordable, and accessible animal protein foods is critical for American food security and food independence.

Looking to the Future

Damage has been done by the 30×30 effort, and it’s not something Americans had a say in creating. According to BLM, America’s total land mass is 2.4 billion acres. To date, the Biden administration has conserved 24 million, about one percent, which is added to land already being conserved. To achieve the lofty 30×30 goals, the amount required to hit the optimal target suggests land equal to double the size of Texas will be needed. If that estimate is even close to being accurate, that’s many millions of acres, necessitating confiscation of some private lands. That doesn’t sound like A Free and Fed America to us – it sounds like a tyrannically oriented government led by elites who don’t know how to do much more than consolidate their power and create edicts such as 30×30, which do not serve the best interests of “we the people.”

If you agree, we urge you to let your congressional delegation know that 30×30 is not a good policy for America, and they should act to mitigate it.

Helpful Links

Center for American Progress report HERE

American Stewards of Liberty Press Release HERE

Protect The Harvest Environmental Extremists Head Bureau of Land Management With Mission to Severely Limit Access to Public Lands HERE

Protect the Harvest on Losing Public Lands HERE

U.S. Department of the Interior on 30 x 30 HERE

The White House Executive 14008 HERE

USDA on Investments in Climate Smart Agriculture HERE

PTH Ranching in the West: Setting the Record Straight HERE

Inflation Reduction Act HERE

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