America the Beautiful

Spotlighting the Work to Restore, Connect and Conserve 30 Percent of Lands and Waters by 2030

Sunset at White Sands National Park.

At the Department of the Interior, we know that nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and every community in America. From the bounty of the Great Plains and vast coastal forests to the high deserts of the Southwest and beyond, our lands and waters define who we are and who we, as a nation, want to be.

As directed by President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, the Department of the Interior has partnered with the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, and the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality to develop initial recommendations on how to advance an inclusive and collaborative conservation vision.

President Biden has issued a call to action that we work together to conserve, connect, and restore 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 for the sake of our economy, our health, and our well-being.

To meet the moment, the Biden-Harris administration has launched America the Beautiful, a decade-long challenge to pursue a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend. The initial report released in May 2021 outlines the key principles that will guide our conservation efforts, including:

  • Pursuing a collaborative and inclusive approach to conservation;
  • Conserving America’s lands and waters for the benefit of all people;
  • Supporting locally led and locally designed conservation efforts;
  • Honoring Tribal sovereignty and supporting the priorities of Tribal Nations;
  • Pursuing conservation and restoration approaches that create jobs and support healthy communities;
  • Honoring private property rights and supporting the voluntary stewardship efforts of private landowners;
  • Using science as a guide; and
  • Building on existing tools and strategies with an emphasis on flexibility and adaptive approaches.

This report also identifies areas of focus that elected officials, Tribal leaders, and stakeholders uplifted as early opportunities for successful collaboration. By creating more parks and safe outdoor opportunities in nature-deprived communities, these efforts aim to increase access to outdoor recreation, while also creating jobs by investing in restoration and resilience. The initiative also prioritizes supporting Tribally led conservation and restoration priorities, as well as expanding collaborative conservation of fish and wildlife habitats and corridors.

We will continue to undertake this process with broad engagement, including agricultural and forest landowners, fishers, outdoor enthusiasts, Tribal Nations, States, territories, local officials, and other important partners and stakeholders to identify strategies that reflect the priorities of all communities. We recognize that rewarding voluntary conservation efforts of fishers, ranchers, farmers, and forest owners is integral to this effort.

In January of 2022, we invited public comments and advised three public listening sessions on the development of the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas (Atlas). The Atlas will be a critical tool to measure the progress of conservation and restoration efforts across the country.

In addition to evaluating how to best assess the country’s progress toward this ambitious and urgent goal, we will also look for ways to achieve more equitable access to nature and its benefits for all people in America – no matter their zip code.

The President’s goal of conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030 is more than a number— it is a challenge to build on the nation’s best conservation traditions, to be faithful to principles that reflect the country’s values, and to improve the quality of Americans’ lives — now and for decades to come.

Resources:

More information can also be found on the co-lead agencies webpages:

Seals from DOI, USDA, CEQ, DEC and NOAA

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