May 16, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE), a longtime champion of private property rights, exposed the Biden administration’s refusal to define the word “conservation” in the president’s “America the Beautiful” initiative. Formerly known as the “30×30 Plan,” the initiative seeks to conserve 30% of America’s land and waters by 2030.
“In reading through the Fish and Wildlife proposed budget, the president’s 30×30 environmental program is specifically mentioned there,” said Senator Ricketts. “The executive summary says the Service is a ‘key player’ in the administration’s goal for an ambitious ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative… Don’t you have to have a definition of conservation to be able to say 30% of the United States is conserved? Don’t you have to have a definition of that before you can even reach that goal?”
“More than two years ago, I led a coalition of 15 Governors in asking President Biden for more details about how this initiative could be achieved without a federal land grab,” Ricketts said after the hearing. “For two years, they’ve refused to give us anything. No definitions, no details, nothing. Reaching 30% would require restricting a land area the size of nine states of Nebraska by 2030. Without a clear definition of conservation, this plan is either a partisan sham with no tangible goals or a slippery slope to violating the property rights of Nebraskans.”
Ricketts’ comments came during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works entitled “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget”.
Ricketts has been a longtime opponent of President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative. As Governor, Ricketts hosted a “Stop the 30×30 Summit” and a series of townhalls across Nebraska to raise the alarm about the prospect of a federal land grab in pursuit of Biden’s conservation goals. In June of 2021, he signed an executive order aimed at stopping its implementation of the plan.
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