NACD Responds to "America the Beautiful" Preliminary ReportThu, 06 May 2021 13:23:43 CDT
Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) issued a response to the release of the interagency report, “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful,” regarding the proposed 30x30 initiative as announced in President Biden’s Executive Order 14008.
This preliminary report, a joint effort from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Interior, Department of Commerce and Council on Environmental Quality, is the Administration’s initial effort toward developing the Executive Order.
“We are pleased that the interagency leaders recognize the importance of locally-led conservation outlined in the report’s 'Principles for a Locally Led Effort to Conserve and Restore America the Beautiful,'” NACD President Michael Crowder said. “Conservation districts were created to work directly with landowners and local communities to implement conservation, and the goals of adding additional conservation across the country represent a significant opportunity to advance conservation on both private and public lands.”
NACD is developing more comprehensive formal comments on the preliminary report that will be reflective of the perspectives of the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, and the association will also participate in informal discussions with the Administration and stakeholder groups.
“We appreciate this report’s focus on support for locally-led and designed conservation efforts and the opportunities that are championed by conservation districts,” Crowder said. “Conservation districts appreciate the report’s recognition of the important efforts of working lands conservation.”
The report clarifies an emphasis on conservation rather than preservation or protection as a means of achieving the Administration’s goals. While there are many opportunities to improve conservation on public lands, the opportunities are many times greater to increase conservation on private lands. Millions of private acres are actively in federal conservation programs or are being managed using effective conservation plans.
“We are encouraged that the preliminary report recognizes additional stakeholder input will be important to inform progress and urge the Administration to consider creating a formal public comment period for stakeholders to respond,” Crowder said. “We look forward to working with the National Climate Task Force and the interagency leaders to continue this dialogue, provide formal input, and convene stakeholders across the U.S. to ensure local perspectives are heard and incorporated into the initiative.”
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