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Press Release

Westerman Stands with Local Communities as Biden Bends to Radical Environmental Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
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Today, President Joe Biden announced another step in his 30x30 agenda to lock up America’s public lands and waters and remove public land access for local communities. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

"President Biden, beholden to radical environmentalists, is blatantly ignoring input from local communities and hardworking Americans. Today, Biden's bureaucrats are launching a website to placate the farthest fringes of environmental extremists in pursuit of their 30x30 agenda that locks up our nation’s federal lands and waters. Meanwhile, as inflation soars and energy costs rise, struggling Americans across the country who rely on public lands for their livelihoods are unable make ends meet. The Biden administration’s radical 30x30 agenda will only make matters worse for public lands and communities. Biden’s inside the beltway decision making to pacify the environmental left is an insult to the western way of life and all Americans who value access to our public lands.”


The Biden administration's 30x30 Initiative proposes locking up 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters under strict environmental regulations by 2030. Biden’s budget continues to support the initiative, which underwent an unsuccessful rebrand as the “America the Beautiful Initiative.” Despite years of unanswered congressional inquiries, the administration has routinely failed to address basic, fundamental questions about 30x30, including the baseline for what is considered currently conserved and what the term “conservation” means in practice.

On May 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other federal departments released an “interim” report titled “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful,” which outlined a 10-year campaign to preserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The administration proposed an American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas in this report. Nearly three years later, the administration is publishing this Atlas, despite the fact that DOI has already been implementing 30x30 without clear goals or definitions and in whatever manner it considers to be convenient on any given day.  Many elected officials, stakeholders and western communities have expressed grave concern that the 30x30 Initiative could strip access away from the people who rely on public lands to support their way of life and encumber property rights.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has repeatedly sought clarity from the Biden administration on what this initiative entails and who it will impact, with little to no engagement from the administration. Letters sent on May 12, 2022, and March 22, 2024, remain unanswered.