In a move that would please the likes of Marx, Castro, Mao and Hugo Chavez, President Joe Biden issued executive order #14008 titled “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” This order calls for appropriating 30 percent of all land and water in the U.S. for permanent conservation. It is called the 30 X 30 plan: 30 percent of the land and water in government hands by 2030.1
The National Climate Task Force (NCTF) had ninety days to respond to Biden’s executive order with a strategy of how to accomplish these goals. They did so in a 24-page document titled “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful.”2 It is filled with generalities as to how to achieve the targeted appropriation and provides more questions than answers. It defines nothing and makes things unclear.
Nowhere in this executive order and the subsequent NCTF recommendations is the concept of conservation of bio-diversity defined. Suggestions are ambiguous and thus left to liberal interpretation and application. Over fifteen states have sent letters to Mr. Biden asking for clarification. State officials are deeply concerned about a leftist agenda that will infringe upon the right of private property, a sacred right of all persons.
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The NCTF’s argument for more government control is based on the current and controversial global “climate crisis.” Neither document justifies the confiscation of private property based on irrefutable science.
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, is on record saying that the 30 X 30 plan will not be a federal land grab. He further states that Biden’s plan intends to honor private property rights and supports the voluntary stewardship of landowners. The document Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful states, “such efforts must also build trust among all communities and stakeholders, including by recognizing and rewarding the voluntary conservation efforts of private landowners.”
Thus, why take private land and water?
Many states governors are asking who will be impacted and how. They want to know if it will affect farmers, ranchers, and large landowners. Will it include small plots of land owned by almost every homeowner in rural America? Little is known about compensation should the federal government impose this plan on the populace.
The U.S. government already possesses 28 percent of the land, and what they have is poorly maintained. Of that land, only twelve percent is in a state of conservation mandated by the order.
The Founding Fathers’ concept of land ownership was diametrically opposed to the current leftist agenda. They wanted the majority of land in the hands of private individuals since farmers, ranchers and private landowners are the greatest conservationists and make the best use of land. This is because there is a private incentive to do so; since that which is publicly owned is publicly neglected.
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Even the U.S. government recognizes a “strong stewardship ethic among America’s fishers, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and other private landowners” and how they “are also integral to conserving functioning habitats and connecting lands and waters across the country.”3 Because this is true, the President’s efforts to confiscate private property make no sense.
Indeed, the federal record on stewardship is dismally poor. Currently, federally owned lands cost the taxpayer 37 percent more than the revenue they produce. Contrast this to State lands that generate 14 times more revenue than they cost to maintain. Privately held land generates even more revenue than state-owned. The federal government cannot properly maintain its land, and appropriating more will not benefit the environment or the economy.
The 30 X 30 agenda is a socialist dream come true. It insinuates that owners of private property cannot manage and steward their property. This is because liberal bureaucrats supposedly always know better.
Section 219 of President Biden’s Executive order says that the effort will be “securing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity.” However, no science supports the claim of environmental justice. The historical evidence contradicts any assertion of economic opportunity. The loser is the taxpayer who must foot the bill and lose his property.
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The 30 X 30 proposal has many defects. It is ambiguous and puts inefficient government at the helm of more property; the proposal is not science-based and is contrary to the Founders’ intentions. Finally, there is no coherent strategy as to how its goals can be accomplished without threatening the sacred right of private property.
This effort is nothing more than an assault on private property in the name of a controversial “climate crisis.”