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Opinion: Biden 30 x 30 plan cause for concern
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Opinion: Biden 30 x 30 plan cause for concern

Barb is a freelance journalist who grew up near Battle Creek, Nebraska, and now farms row crops with her Platte Valley Farmer, Don Batie, northeast of Lexington. She can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

As each new administration takes office in Washington, D.C., there is always a flurry of executive orders to either halt orders from the previous administration or create the path forward for the new president’s agenda.

It should come as no surprise because of the Biden campaign’s agenda on climate that just a few days into office he signed Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” Contained in that order is the “30 x 30” program, a radical and aggressive push championed by environmental and climate change activities to put 30% of the land and water in the U.S. under permanent protection by 2030.

This is cause for grave concern among private landowners, especially farmer and ranchers, as the order does not define what 30% of the land will states be forced to hand over. In Nebraska, where 97% of the state is privately owned property, that number is especially alarming.

California is already in the cross-hairs, as Gov. Gavin Nelson announced his own “30 x 30” goal back in October to “preserve and protect 30% of the state’s lands and also its nearshore waters by 2030.”

Newsome said the collective goal was “future-proofing California.” He signed an executive order directing the state’s Natural Resources Agency to draw up a plan by Feb. 1, 2022, to achieve the goal.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and 16 other state governors have already sent a letter to Biden warning against the potential federal overreach.

A news released by Rickett’s office noted, “Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are our state’s original conservationists. They work day in and day out to cultivate the land and manage the water they’ve known for generations in a way that helps grow our state.”

The new administration is rapidly changing the way the federal government approaches energy, climate and conservation issues and those in the agriculture sector need to be aware and informed.

To that end, a number of private property rights groups are trying to go on offense, holding informational meetings across the country. One of the first meetings was March 9 in Valentine, Nebraska, and was organized by the American Stewards of Liberty. Executive director Margaret Byfield led the presentation to educate and mobilize landowners and county government officials on how to fight back.

She noted that there is no constitutional or statutory authority cited for the president, the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture to set aside and permanently preserve that much land. Also missing are citations to the science reasoning for such a move. With one-third of the United States already permanently protected through national parks, monuments, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and other private conservation efforts, many groups are calling this a “blatant land grab.”

While no one argues that conservation is a bad word, when state and local governments are taken out of the conversation and decision making process, the results could be devastating.

At the Valentine meeting participants were urged to reach out to their county government officials and make them aware of the 30 x 30 agenda. Byfield’s group has developed a resolution that can be passed by local governments, which can then be forwarded to Washington, D.C., where Congressional members and senators fighting the 30 x 30 agenda will be able to show grassroots support doesn’t exist for Biden’s executive order.

It will be an uphill battle at the League of Conservation Voters has gotten individual elected officials across the nation to sign on to a letter of support for the 30 x 30 plan, making it seem like there already is support for the issue.

For more information on the American Steward’s of Liberty, the link to the organization’s website is www.americanstewards.us. A link to a sample resolution can be found as a Word document at the same website.

Do your research and be informed. It is always wise to be an advocate for your farm and/or ranch and keep in touch with local, state and national elected officials.

Barb Bierman Batie can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.  

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Barb is a freelance journalist who grew up near Battle Creek, Nebraska, and now farms row crops with her Platte Valley Farmer, Don Batie, northeast of Lexington. She can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

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