Date: Monday, March 22, 2021
Representatives of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today met with leaders of outdoor recreation businesses and other related organizations to discuss President Biden’s commitment to conserving America’s lands and waters for the benefit and enjoyment of all Americans.
This was one in a series of meetings that the Biden Administration is convening to inform its efforts. The conversations are happening with organizations focused on equity, Tribal leaders, conservation groups, fishermen, ocean advocates, outdoor recreation businesses, forest owners, ranchers and farmers, hunters and anglers, state and locally elected officials, Members of Congress, and beyond.
Participants in the meetings have been discussing President Biden’s goal of helping communities across the country conserve 30% of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030 (30x30), which was outlined in Section 216(a) of Executive Order 14008. The Department of the Interior has been tasked with gathering stakeholder input to inform a report, due to the National Climate Task Force by April 27, on how the U.S. might pursue a 30x30 goal.
Federal agency leaders who participated in today’s meeting said they expect the April report will outline a broad set of principles by which the Administration can pursue a widely-supported conservation agenda. These principles will reflect a consensus of views expressed by a broad range of stakeholders, including that America’s conservation efforts: be locally supported; be inclusive and equitable; honor tribal sovereignty; be science-based; support the voluntary, collaborative stewardship efforts of farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners; recognize the role that a range of conservation practices can play; build on existing mechanisms to conserve resources; respect private property rights; and expand access to the outdoors for all people, including hunters, anglers, communities that have disproportionately less access to nature, and everyone who enjoys getting outside.
The outdoor business and outdoor recreation leaders in today’s meeting – which included representatives from the Outdoor Industry Association, the Conservation Alliance, the Outdoor Alliance, and several outdoor recreation companies - noted that conserving America’s lands, waters, and wildlife is essential to the prosperity and health of America’s economy and communities. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outdoor recreation sector contributes $459.8 billion to the U.S. economy each year. The economic benefits of conservation and outdoor recreation are among the reasons why many state leaders and mayors are working to establish or support 30x30 conservation goals in their state, set up outdoor recreation offices, and implement other policies to make it easier for more people to get outdoors.
Participants in today’s meeting also observed that nature conservation is one of the most cost-effective strategies for fighting climate change.
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