Federal Grazing Lands as “Conservation Lands” in the 30 by 30 Program

April 2022
ELR 10279
Michael C. Blumm, Kacey J. Hovden, and Gregory A. Allen

On January 28, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued Executive Order No. 14008 initiating the “30 by 30” program to “conserve” 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, but to date, the Administration has yet to clarify the standards defining "conservation" lands. In September 2021, Nada Culver, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Chris French, the deputy chief of the Forest Service’s National Forest System (NFS) confirmed at an annual Public Lands Council meeting that they believe the nation’s grazing lands “should [be] include[d]” in the 30 by 30 count. BLM and the Forest Service currently lease hundreds of millions of acres for livestock grazing, and studies show that at least one-third of these lands are “failing land health standards." This Comment explores the rangeland health processes implemented by both agencies, discusses the incomplete rangeland health data that exists for BLM and Forest Service rangelands, and examines a potential model for rangeland health management that could qualify rangelands as conservation lands.

Michael C. Blumm is Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. Kacey J. Hovden is a 3L and Gregory A. Allen a 2L at Lewis & Clark Law School.

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Federal Grazing Lands as “Conservation Lands” in the 30 by 30 Program

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