Howdy friends! Hope you all have been enjoying the hints of early spring.
Many of you are probably aware of Biden’s “America the Beautiful” initiative. The initiative has also been called 30×30, since it aims to protect 30% of American lands and waters by the year 2030.
It’s a noble project, but the devil is in the details. Namely: what is considered protected land? Well, right now we have a chance to weigh in on that. The Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration want to create an American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas to inform the public on the conservation actions in the U.S. These departments and agencies are asking for your input on these questions:
- Science and Data. What data sources, standards, and technical approaches should be applied to data included in the Atlas to ensure that it is an authoritative and useful tool for the public?
- Conservation as a Continuum. How can the Atlas reflect the meaningful conservation work already underway? How can it convey the differences between administrative divisions?
- Outcomes. How can the Atlas best reflect land and water contributions to biodiversity, climate change mitigation and resilience, and equitable access to nature and its benefits?
We’ve set up a page on our website with great information to make a well-informed comment.
FOC is submitting our own comment that includes our Old Growth, Roadless Rule, and Clearcut King Reports – all showing how the agencies tasked with conserving our public lands are doing on the ground (surprise – NOT good). We need to push back on the agency narratives that all public land is de facto protected. It’s not, and making real progress on conservation means clearly articulating where we are at and what it will take to protect the remarkable wildlands of this country. Roadless areas in particular have been increasingly logged and roaded through loopholes in the various Rules that should be closed to consider them truly protected.
For your comment, we recommend making these specific points:
- “Conservation” and “restoration” should not include logging or grazing.
- The most useful map will delineate vulnerable public lands from protected public lands.
- The most useful map will outline detrimental grazing impacts on all public lands.
- The most useful map will also disclose public-land management that undermines the U.S.’s conservation efforts.
Please visit this link to make your comment on the Federal Register.
Comments are due Monday, March 7, 2022 at 11:59 Eastern Time.
If you’d like to read more about our comment and the details of the Atlas itself, we’ve got an in-depth web page where you can read more.
Membership and Development Director
Friends of the Clearwater