Fifteen Republican governors Wednesday put the White House on notice regarding concerns over Joe Biden’s “30 X 30 Plan,” the goal of which is to place 30 percent of U.S. lands under government conservation by 2030. Right now, only 12 percent of U.S. acreage is under federal ownership and management.
The new plan would infringe on “the private property rights of our citizens and significantly harming our economies,” the governors said in a letter sent to the White House. “We encourage your Administration to focus on better management of the lands the federal government already controls and to be more proactive in working with the states.”
Biden’s January 21 Executive Order illustrates that, like so many other socioeconomic systems in the U.S. under Biden, agriculture, and with it private land ownership, is under attack.
It matters not how far agriculture has come in showcasing its ability to achieve environmental stewardship. It matters not how many times farmers, ranchers and livestock producers explain that they are feeding, clothing, and providing energy to the citizens of the world.
It doesn’t even matter how loudly they shout that they have more incentive than anyone in protecting the health and resiliency of private and federally permitted land because they can only sustain a ranch or farm by caring for the environment.
Regardless of all that, agriculture is still condemned by those with no knowledge of agriculture. It is obvious there is no one currently in the executive branch who has any working knowledge of the industry, not even in the Department of Agriculture.
Titled “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” Biden’’s plan has been largely shrouded in secrecy as to how it would be implemented.
While there are a lot of things in the Executive Order that are major causes for concern, the most alarming is the ridiculous view that the ownership and use of private property and the multiple use of federal land — in the administration’s view — is antithetical to protecting the world from climate change and preserving “biodiversity,” a totally made-up and meaningless term that supposedly defines the variety of plants and animals in a macroenvironment.
No surprisingly, under the Biden Executive Order, the solution to global climate change is for the federal government to acquire more private land, taking it out of production and eliminating all use of federal land by farmers, ranchers and livestock producers — amounting to total federal control of an additional 440 million acres of land, lakes, rivers and oceans in the U. S. by 2030.
The concept is shocking in its scope.
Breaking it down, under the Executive Order and according to documents published by the Department of the Interior, the Biden Administration believes that only 12% of the approximately 563 million acres of federal land in the United States is managed for “the preservation of biodiversity.”
In other words, current agriculture and livestock usage practices are killing the global climate. Therefore, additional uses have to be eliminated to ensure this land is managed in its “natural state.”
The Biden plan is to acquire an additional 440 million acres by 2030. That is a land area more than twice the size of Texas. It is, in fact, 17 million acres more acres than in the entire state of Alaska, which is more than 18 percent of the land area of the Lower 48.
It is the largest land grab since Genghis Kahn swept out of China all the way to southeastern Europe.
The question now is how will the federal government acquire an additional 440 million acres of private land and eliminate more uses of federal lands that already contain many restrictions?
Most likely, eminent domain is the answer. In other words, condemnation of property and “strong-arming” reluctant sellers.
The nightly news won’t tell you this, but federal agencies are already implementing the “Biden vision.”
On February 11, 2021 — just three weeks after Biden signed his Executive Order — the Acting Secretary of the Interior signed an Order eliminating the Trump Administration’s requirement for state and local government approval prior to the federal government’s acquisition of more private lands with monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Shockingly, that Order claimed that allowing local governments to have a voice in land acquisition directly impacting their counties “undermined” the program.
While LWCF funds are touted as being used to “secure public access and improve recreational opportunities,” the money, as the government loves to say, is “fungible.” It can also be used to acquire private lands for federal ownership.
The impact on local economies is going to be broad and devastating. There will no property taxes paid after land is purchased by the federal government. That will seriously damage the ability of local school districts to educate students in rural areas and the county and city governments to provide services to their population.
There will be no jobs associated with federally-owned land that will “preserve biodiversity, leaving the land natural state.” That will further reduce the tax base by taking away paychecks from hard-working families. Small businesses will be forced to close because the owners will not be able to justify staying in business when there are far fewer customers coming through their doors.
With the passage of the Great Americans Outdoor Act in 2020, Congress already will make $900 million a year available for the LWCF. The agency, though, will need billions more to achieve this radical acquisition goal.
All of rural America and anyone who believes that local control of resources and that the American farmer and rancher is the backbone of this country should be alarmed at the foolish notion that only the federal government, by removing land from private ownership, can combat climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
Once they have snapped up all the farm and ranch land they want to remove from private ownership and production, why won’t the federal government come for the small towns, for the suburbs, the park and recreation lands?
A frightening realization: There is no reason that they won’t.
Mike Nichols is a conservative, a patriot, U.S. Army veteran, behavioral therapist, political enthusiast, sports fan and writer living with his beautiful wife Liz in the Heartland. He has a regular blog at https://mikenichols.substack.com and a Facebook presence at https://www.facebook.com/AmericasConservativeVoice.Substack.