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No Land Grab Act of 2021 and 30x30 Termination Act Introduced

Two bills that push back against President Biden’s 30x30 Executive Order have been introduced in the House and Senate. The “30x30 Termination Act” as named in the Senate and the “No Land Grab Act of 2021” in the House, seek to limit the executive branch’s ability to breach farmers’ private property rights. The Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad Executive Order directs the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and other heads of agencies to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30% of American lands and waters by 2030.

There are many concerns by Republican legislators that this order would add to the many acres of land already under federal control. In the House, the No Land Grab Act of 2021 was introduced by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS). “Protecting private property rights from federal government overreach is a top priority of Kansans,” said Moran, “While I have long supported voluntary, locally-driven conservation efforts, this legislation would put a stop to the Biden administration’s misguided 30x30 plan that threatens to expand federal land ownership and control.”

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) introduced the 30x30 Termination Act into the House, along with 22 House Republicans. She released a statement, claiming Biden’s executive order was created by “extremist environmentalists, that seeks to lock up at least 30% of all lands and waters in the U.S. by 2030.”

The 30x30 Termination Act would block the Administration’s executive actions and protect private land ownership by:

  • Nullifying Section 216 of Executive Order 14008 which contains the 30x30 program.
  • Prohibiting federal funds from being spent to carry out the 30x30 program, the report in Section 216, and any substantially similar program.
  • Ensuring no net loss of non-federal land in counties and states that already contain 15% or more federal land.
  • Ensuring no net loss of multiple-use activities in states unless such action has been authorized by federal statute.
  • Requiring state and congressional approval before the federal acquisition of more than a quarter section of non-federal land.
  • Prohibiting withdrawing federal lands from mineral development without congressional approval.
  • Prohibiting unilateral 30x30 designations under the Antiquities Act in counties and states that already contain 15% or more federal land.

Before the two bills were introduced, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated there is “no intention to have a land grab” through the 30x30 Executive Order, and the goal is “really designed to figure out creative and innovative ways to encourage folks to participate in (conservation efforts), as many farmers and ranchers are already doing, and may very well be inclined to do more if the right set of incentives are in place.” Additionally, a recent poll by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project found that 86% of all voters, and specifically 77% of the Westerners interviewed support Biden’s 30x30 goal.