30 BY 30 -
What is 30 by 30 and why should you care?
You may have heard about the Biden Administration’s plan to protect 30 percent of U.S. land and water by the year 2030 (30 by 30) and have some questions. How will the Administration actually implement and achieve this objective? What exactly counts as protected land and water? What will the role of private landowners and working lands stewards be in achieving this ambitious objective? These are important questions, and WLA is working to ensure that 30 by 30 and other environmental initiatives value and support working lands stewardship as a primary tool in advancing durable conservation.
30 by 30 could bring landowners to the table, or it could drive us apart
We all know we need to stem the biodiversity crisis. Without these natural systems and the ecosystem services they provide, our communities and economies will collapse. Given this fact, there is a palpable sense of urgency to develop solutions to these challenges. Some of them are smart. Some are outdated. And some could be counterproductive.
As we move beyond broad, ambitious objectives into actionable policy, how those lands are “protected” will ultimately define whether 30 by 30 objectives succeed.
Traditional mechanisms of land protection like permanent acquisition, easement or federal designation will rightfully play a role in achieving 30 by 30. At the same time, over-reliance on these tools, or an insistence that these mechanisms are the only way to protect land fails to recognize the contributions to conservation of those already on the land. Working landscapes are the cornerstones of communities and functional ecosystems in the West. They are disappearing and taking nature with them as they go.
To protect working lands, we must think beyond existing legal and regulatory constructs. We must recognize that the link between durable conservation and economics isn’t just tangential, but essential. Most importantly, we must empower land stewards already protecting vulnerable landscapes, rather than falsely insist that land must be protected from them.
Join us to ensure 30 by 30 is good for working lands and the West
We rely on a strong constituency of land stewards and allies to ensure that policymakers make the right choices for the future of the West. Add your strength to the Alliance by joining today!
Working lands are the future of conservation
By Lesli Allison
Farms and ranches are the cornerstones of both human communities and the ecosystems we all depend on. And they are disappearing. In this article from On Land, WLA's executive director lays out the contributions working lands can and must make to conservation, and how to make it happen.