Biden’s 30 x 30 Land Grab

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by Janet Levy, American Thinker:

Our Founding Fathers recognized private property rights and understood they were a chief basis of prosperity and freedom.

But of late, the administrative state has been usurping vast amounts of land and has overstepped its authority.

State and local governments -– and, needless to say, citizens and businesses -– have no part in the decision-making.  Your land could any time cease to be yours at the federal government’s will.

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This extensive land-grab in America is part of the global ‘Half Earth’ agenda, initiated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the Earth Summit 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.  One of its aims: the setting aside of 50% of the world’s land and water for conservation by 2050.  In 2021, it suggested that “at least 30% and up to 70% or more” should be protected.

President Biden signaled commitment to this preposterous agenda within days of taking office: his Executive Order 14008, a.k.a. ‘America the Beautiful’ or 30 x 30, is a blatant departure from constitutional principles of private property and hopes to place 30% of land and water in the U.S. under permanent protection by 2030.  In tandem, the Department of Interior issued secretarial order (SO) 3396, rescinding the Trump administration’s SO 3388 and removing state and local veto power over federal land acquisitions.

Under the pretext of reversing “human caused climate change,” the program works in the sinister shadow of George Soros and his cabal of billionaire elite.  By controlling land, water, and food through ownership by pliant governments, they will eventually control people.  That is the real purpose.

It cannot be saving the planet, for the numbers do not add up.  Against a purported loss of 11 million acres per decade, another 680 million acres of land is to be placed under so-called protection, when already, 270 million acres – about 25 times the decadal loss – is “permanently protected.”  What is this if not a colossal land-grab?

The reasoning that the government is better at conservation than landowners does not hold either.  According to a congressional report, four federal agencies -– the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Forest Service -– had a combined maintenance backlog of $19.38 billion in 2018.  Imagine exposing another 680 million acres to government inefficiency.

Private owners, on the other hand, are the best caretakers of land, producing at the same time the food, energy, and minerals our nation requires.  Their livelihood, after all, depends on the integrity of their land holdings.  This is the research-based argument made by the American Stewards of Liberty, a non-profit dedicated to protecting “private property rights and the liberties they secure.” It maintains there is no scientific data to suggest that “preserving” land will “cure” climate change; also, that 36% of U.S. land is already owned or protected by federal and state governments.

Meanwhile, the big, federal land-grab continues apace, a favored instrument being the Antiquities Act of 1906.  However, these depredations are not going unchallenged.  Some recent instances, and the lawsuits challenging them, are listed below:

  • Last summer, Biden designated a new monument, the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni-Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.  Located near the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, it is spread over 1,562 square miles.  That’s nearly 1 million acres, though the Antiquities Act specifies that such designations be confined to the “smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
    • Shortly after, two Republican Arizona representatives – Warren Petersen and Ben Toma – filed a lawsuit that Biden had exceeded his presidential authority in declaring the land protected.  State officials say Biden is appeasing radical environmentalists, and that curtailing mining, ranching, and activities vital for food and energy production would have far-reaching national security repercussions.
    • Chris Heaton, a rancher who runs a 50,000 acre ranch on public and private land, is also suing Biden and the federal government, since he is losing the grasslands and creek where his cattle graze and water.  He now faces criminal penalties for an activity his family has been engaged in for six generations.  He is being represented pro bono by the Pacific Legal Foundation.
  • In October 2021, Biden ordered two national monuments – Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante – in Utah to be expanded to a combined 3.2 million acres.  This curtails decades-long ranching and recreational activity in the area.
  • In September 2016, President Obama declared 5,000 square miles – that is, 3.2 million acres, and roughly the size of Connecticut – of the Georges Bank area of the Atlantic Ocean a national monument, ignoring the “smallest area” caveat and robbing New England fishing communities of their livelihood.

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