On January 27, 2022, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (Executive Order 14008), which directed agencies across the Administration to take various actions. Section 216, Conserving Our Nation’s Lands and Waters, includes a goal of conserving at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. The EO directed the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and other agencies, to submit regular reports to the White House.
California Farm Bureau believes that the 30x30 goal and any measurement of perceived success should start through the lens of lands and waters already owned and managed by federal and state governments. Additionally, the 30% goal must also recognize the benefits of working lands and waters – both private and public. Ensuring the long-term economic viability of farms and ranches is essential to the health of rural American communities and associated lands in many ways. If ranchers are limited in the use of certain management practices that promote rangeland health, we will continue to witness the loss of family farms, increased fuel loads resulting in more destructive fires, and the spread of invasive species. None of these outcomes would promote the administration’s conservation goal or benefit our lands.
California farmers and ranchers are committed to feeding the nation and the world while conserving the natural resources entrusted to them and are at the forefront of climate-smart farming. The management techniques farmers and ranchers are using puts scientific solutions, technology and innovation to work to conserve our land, air and water. Not only are agriculture’s overall emissions low, farmers and ranchers are taking active steps to make their footprint even smaller by utilizing voluntary conservation programs and other environmental initiatives.