Earlier today, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a virtual briefing to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s “America the Beautiful” Initiative. More than 150 attendees joined the discussion that focused on the importance of recognizing and supporting the interests of America’s hunters, anglers, and private landowners as vital stakeholders within the context of this Initiative, also referred to as Thirty by Thirty (30×30).
In January of 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008, which directed the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, and the Council on Environmental Quality to develop recommendations on how to conserve and restore 30 percent of American lands and waters by 2030. Recently, CSF was joined by 44 other Hunt Fish 30×30 Organizations in submitting formal recommendations to the Biden-Harris Administration concerning said initiative. As America’s original conservationists, sportsmen and women, alongside private landowners, are a powerful and integral part of conserving and enhancing our nation’s treasured fish, wildlife, and natural resources.
“Thirty by Thirty” first emerged as a global initiative which aims to protect 30 percent of global lands and waters by 2030. In response to poorly constructed 30×30 legislation in California, the Hunt Fish 30×30 Coalition was formed in October of 2020. Today, the Coalition works to incorporate the hunting and fishing community and their conservation goals into conversations about advancing this Initiative with a focus on conservation, rather than preservation. CSF supports policies to conserve biodiversity through a science-based, stakeholder driven process and believes any policy must recognize the importance of active management and the role of hunting and fishing as sustainable wildlife-dependent activities.
“CSF thought it was timely to begin our 2022 Virtual Policy Briefing series with this critical discussion surrounding the America the Beautiful Initiative,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “We were honored to be joined by representatives from within the Biden-Harris Administration for an update on this Initiative, as well as critical stakeholders representing the U.S.’s hunters, anglers, farmers, and ranchers. CSF maintains that, for this Initiative to be successful, it will take stakeholder engagement at every level.”
Tuesday’s discussion featured two panels. The speakers in Panel I were Stephenne Harding of the Council on Environmental Quality, Bidisha Bhattacharyya of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, and Dr. Letise LaFeir of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The speakers in Panel II were John Gale of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Kaitlynn Glover of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Mike Leonard of the American Sportfishing Association. Sponsors for the virtual briefing included Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Center for Sportfishing Policy, the International Game and Fish Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
“Conservation is something that our community has not only supported, but we also helped start the movement in this country more than a century ago,” said CSF Senior Director of Fisheries Policy Chris Horton. “These discussions around a new focus on conservation in the America the Beautiful Initiative are vitally important to ensure the conservation successes that we have already achieved are recognized, counted, and serve as the foundation that we can build upon.”