American Farmland Trust Calls on the Biden Administration to Protect and Conserve 30 Percent of Working Farmland and Ranchland to Achieve 30x30
Oklahoma Farm Report
06 Apr 2021
Today, American Farmland Trust released “Agriculture’s Role in 30x30: Partnering with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect Land, Biodiversity, and the Climate” outlining agriculture’s critical role in the effort to “conserve at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030” as put forth in the Biden administration’s January 27, 2021, Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. AFT’s recommendations make it clear that we urgently need to both permanently protect five percent of vulnerable working lands from being converted to development and support landowners’ voluntary efforts to implement conservation practices on an additional twenty-five percent of working lands, particularly in biodiversity hotspots, key connectivity corridors and areas with high carbon sequestration potential.
Roughly 60 percent of the land in the United States is privately owned and many, if not most, wildlife species rely on these lands for habitat and foraging. Although the areas of greatest biodiversity and carbon sequestration are mostly composed of private lands – such as rangelands, grasslands, and private forests – only a fraction of privately held land is protected.
About seven million acres, or less than 1 percent of our agricultural land, is permanently protected. American Farmland Trust’s 2020 report, “Farms Under Threat: The State of the States” showed that between 2001 and 2017, 11 million acres of farmland and ranchland were converted to urban and highly developed land use or low-density residential land use. Another 6.5 million acres of forest were converted over that same timeframe. A significant portion of this conversion occurred in ecoregions or states of biodiversity significance.
Development has a detrimental effect on biodiversity...