Photo of sun rising over a Wisconsin tallgrass prairie.
Land for Life Barneveld Prairie is a remnant of the vast tallgrass prairies and savannas that once covered most of southern Wisconsin. © Mark Godfrey / TNC

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U.S. Conservation and Restoration Plan a Blueprint for Nature

Emphasis on collaborative, landscape-scale planning critical to goal

The White House today released its “America the Beautiful” initiative for a locally led and voluntary effort to reach the U.S. goal to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030. 

In January, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order committing the United States to this goalin order to ensure healthy lands, waters, ocean and wildlife and stave off the precipitous decline in global biodiversity. The 10-year plan, dubbed the “America the Beautiful” initiative, emphasizes several principles to this work, including ensuring the effort is collaborative and inclusive, supports locally led efforts, honors tribal sovereignty and private property rights, creates jobs, builds on existing tools and is based on the best-available science.

The initiative includes the development of a new “American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a tool that will better reflect the voluntary contributions of farmers, ranchers, forest owners and private landowners; the contributions of fishery management councils; and other existing conservation designations on lands and waters across federal, state, local, Tribal, and private lands and waters across the nation.” It also includes investments in restoration and resilience projects and initiatives, including the Civilian Climate Corps, that will create jobs.

The approach outlined today will help conserve representative, resilient and effectively managed lands and waters for the benefit of people and nature.

Lynn Scarlett Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy

The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer for The Nature Conservancy:

“Addressing the global crises of biodiversity loss and climate change demands an all-hands-on-deck approach, one that leverages new resources and new strategies at a scale big enough to meet the challenges. The commitment to conserving 30 percent of lands, waters and ocean by 2030 is an ambitious and necessary endeavor to conserve nature and build resilience to climate change for all life now and in the future. The challenges are many; the time for action is now. The vision is to create inclusive and collaborative conservation to address the challenges of climate change, conserve parks and working open spaces and sustain vibrant rural and urban communities. 

“The plan released today recognizes the current pace of conservation is not enough, and that we need to engage tribes, all stakeholders and communities to achieve a 30 percent conservation goal that will bring effective, lasting and equitable results. Protected areas and federal designations are important, but integrating other management authorities and working waters, lands and oceans is also necessary to achieving this goal. The approach outlined today will help conserve representative, resilient and effectively managed lands and waters for the benefit of people and nature.

“The future of conservation requires robust investment and strong collaboration with state, territorial and tribal governments as well as landowners, communities, farmers, ranchers, fishermen and others to deploy a vision for our future. Today’s blueprint is a comprehensive and achievable plan to work toward our common goals. The Nature Conservancy looks forward to working with the administration and all stakeholders to secure the resources and support needed to conserve our natural world.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.