Guest Opinion: Locking Out All People From Half The Land & Water Forever
July 13, 2022 | View PDF
President Biden is pursuing a “Half Earth” policy to permanently lock up half of the earth’s land and water against any human use by 2050. Its name “50 x 50” means 50% by 2050.
In 2019 the Center for American Progress published an intermediate goal of 30 x 30 to permanently lock up 30% by 2030. Senator Kamala Harris sponsored 30 x 30 legislation in the Senate. Representative Debra Haaland sponsored it in the House. Candidate Biden named Harris his Vice-Presidential running mate. President Biden appointed Haaland Secretary of the Interior. In office, the three now pursue 30 x 30 and 50 x 50.
Half Earth advocates say doing this is necessary to avoid extinction of millions of species and earth becoming uninhabitable by humans.
On Jan. 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008 adopting 30 x 30. It has two parts. One is locking up federal and state land and water. There is not enough government land to reach 30%. To reach 30%, the other part is locking up private land and water.
Locking up private land permanently ties a straight jacket onto our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, preventing them from using private property as could have been beneficial with future science and technology.
Fifteen governors including of North Dakota and Montana, many state attorney generals, many U.S. Senators and Representatives, stock growers including Montana Stockgrowers Association, farm organizations, county governments, and grassroots organizations voiced opposition. Some states and many local governments acted defensively by legislation, administrative rules, and local ordinances. Montana Stockgrowers sponsored a public educational meeting in Sidney.
Because of opposition, the Administration re-branded the program as “America the Beautiful,” and promised Half Earthers that they will use “every tool in the toolbox” to lock up America’s land and water. As rebranded, instead of submitting 30 x 30 to Congress in a single bill identified as such, the Administration uses a tactic of “death by a thousand small cuts.” It endorses scattered and separate bills, issues executive orders, issues secretarial orders, shifts enforcement approaches on things like conservation contracts, and uses many other separately small tactics, so that no piece is called or recognized as 30 x 30. This is to avoid opposition.
A major tool is enticing farmers and ranchers into selling “conservation easements” that rightly are called servitudes because they put land and owners under servitude prohibiting human uses. The sleeper feature of these easements is that they are not for a term but are perpetual. No matter what uses our descendants might want to make with new science and technology in the future, they will be prohibited because of a shortsighted payment of money to today’s owners.
Defenders of Wildlife supports 30 x 30. This is the group who already sought to destroy Richland County’s freedom, way of life, and economy by its federal lawsuit to abolish irrigation from the Intake Diversion dam, though the dam was authorized by Congress and re-paid for by Richland County farmers.
Montana’s landowners should think twice before permanently locking up their children’s future.