May 6, 2021 –
Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released its report on the proposed 30×30 initiative. House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:
“After hosting a forum on the 30×30 initiative with committee Republicans earlier this week, I’m pleased to see the Department is listening to our calls for transparency and releasing this report to the public. I appreciate that the report incorporates many of the principles discussed at our forum, such as recognizing the vital distinction between conservation and preservation and the need to improve access to outdoor recreation, particularly for the nation’s sportsmen and women.
“However, this report still falls short of a serious proposal and has far too many unanswered questions, such as how ‘conservation’ of our lands and waters will be defined and the current baseline for what is considered ‘conserved.’ It is clear the administration is currently unable to answer these questions, given the report’s concerning call for a federal government-led ‘Atlas,’ aimed at collecting data on federal, state, tribal, county and private lands and waters. Although I am pleased to see the administration is finally publicizing information on a previously undefined goal, the lack of specific details in the report is unacceptable.
“It’s vital that the administration gets past high-level talking points and defines their policies. Up until now, we have received little to no guidance on how this initiative would be enacted. I and my Republican colleagues here in Congress are proud to support a wide range of concrete conservation priorities, including the Trillion Trees Act, and we will never stop fighting for every American to have access to our rich natural resources. As the administration continues to formulate this initiative, I hope they focus on these bipartisan, commonsense proposals and avoid efforts to lock up millions of acres of new lands and waters into wilderness areas or national monuments. I look forward to continuing to work with the Department on these issues that promote real conservation.”
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