Americans Can Unite Around America the Beautiful

The Biden administration recently released its recommendations to follow through on the president’s pledge to conserve 30 percent of America’s land and waters by 2030. The bold initiative, known as “America the Beautiful,” seeks to mitigate climate change and stem ecological degradation by more than doubling the amount of conservation lands in the United States.

While the lack of details around how the new administration will achieve its eco-moonshot continues to make some suspicious, last year’s passage of the Great American Outdoors Act demonstrated the broad, bipartisan, cross-cultural support for conservation in our country. For the initiative to unite Americans in a similar way, it will be crucial to get the details right. While the recently released recommendations voice the right sentiments, everything from who will guide the initiative to where ideas to implement it will be drawn from will be critical to its success.

The Biden administration started off in the right direction by recognizing the critical role farmers, ranchers, and the lands they steward play in safeguarding our environmental quality. A focus group of ranchers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem convened by the Property and Environment Research Center in late 2019 revealed that the lack of public recognition for ranchers’ role in conservation was a sore point among participants. For all ranchers do to sequester carbon, maintain wildlife habitat, filter water, and provide other ecosystem services, they have too often been cast as environmental villains or outright ignored in conservation efforts.

Read the full article in InsideSources.

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