Daines Offers Alternative to Biden’s 30×30 Plot Plan | Regional news

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A group of GOP congressmen on Tuesday released an alternative to President Joe Biden’s 30×30 land conservation initiative, pushing for more attention to the productive management of working land.

“Conservation is part of our way of life in Montana – we know how to be good stewards of our land,” Senator Steve Daines, R-Montana, wrote of the proposal.

“I believe it’s a conservative principle to conserve,” Daines wrote. “That’s why I’m pushing a new ‘Western Conservation Principles’ initiative that uses science-based, proven, and locally-driven practices to achieve meaningful conservation results, unlike President Biden’s Wave 30×30 initiative.

Daines co-wrote the 9 page document with Representative Dan Newhouse, R-Washington. The version released Tuesday afternoon contained 39 signatures, including Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy, Wyoming Senators Liz Cheney and John Barrasso, and Idaho Senators James Risch and Mike Crapo.

The proposal came in response to a initiative at the Biden Department of the Interior to protect 30% of the land and water of the United States by 2030. Biden America the Beautiful initiative calls for a 10-year national conservation effort of collaborative, voluntary and locally-led projects. Its objectives include protecting natural systems, adapting to climate change and improving access to the outdoors.

“America’s farmers, ranchers and forest owners have an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees and other plants and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels, ”Biden said in the America the Beautiful ad.

“Coastal communities have a critical role to play in mitigating climate change and building resilience by protecting and restoring coastal ecosystems, such as wetlands, seagrass, coral and oyster reefs. , and mangrove and kelp forests, to protect vulnerable coasts, sequester carbon and support biodiversity and fisheries.

In a video statement, Daines said Biden’s proposal lacked clear information about which land would be eligible for his 30×30 goals. Many stakeholders, he added, fear that the administration’s plan is “just a way to lock in more land” and that it supports the elimination of “frivolous lawsuits” and “the conservation of land. healthy landscapes instead of ambiguous land tenure “.

Several Montana-based conservation groups contacted to respond to the Western caucus plan said they had not had enough time to review it. Alliance for the Wild Rockies executive director Michael Garrity responded to the challenge, noting that winning lawsuits against federal agencies was proof that the challenges were well founded.

“President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani had his lawyer’s license suspended for filing what the court ruled to be frivolous lawsuits,” Garrity said. “No one has ever accused us of filing a frivolous lawsuit in court, and by definition, when we win, it’s not frivolous. Congress drafted these laws and included provisions for citizen enforcement, as there is no police to call when these agencies do something illegal.

The GOP’s Western Conservation Principles focus on “invasive species; overgrown, diseased and infested forests; and restoration after a forest fire. Members of the Senate and Western congressional caucuses called for streamlining the National Environmental Policy Act to increase active forest management, better control of invasive species, reduction of overpopulation of wild horses and burros on rangelands , drawing more attention to federal Superfund hazardous waste clean-up projects, encouraging visits to national parks, improving access to “chessboard” lands that mix federal and private lands through better mapping easements, accelerating treatment for endangered species recovery, offering title transfers over federal water facilities in need of repair, removing “DC best knows” conservation policy limitations and providing “Creative funding arrangements” to leverage public-private partnerships.

He specifically calls for handing over the management of grizzly bears and gray wolves to state wildlife agencies.

In reporting and monitoring public lands, the proposal calls for better mapping and dissemination of data on federal mineral resources. He is also looking for audits of existing federal land programs to “ensure alignment with their original mission and verify that those funds are being used to get the best rate of return on investment and go where they are needed most.”

“We believe that this objective assessment of our lands is the best indicator of the conservation efforts underway on all of our lands, regardless of the purpose of land management – be it wilderness, recreation, energy, pasture, wood or wildlife, “said the group’s statement. Noted.

Members also called for changes to legal challenges to environmental reviews, saying “we can protect access to the courts while preventing current abuses being suffered.”


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