April 20, 2021
President Joseph Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Biden:
In your inaugural address, you spoke with urgency about the challenges facing our nation: a deadly virus, economic struggle, racial injustices, and climate change. You said, “The cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.” This is certainly the case for America’s lands, waters, and ocean.
To confront the rapid loss of America’s natural places and wildlife, the U.S. must accelerate locally-led land, water, and ocean conservation and restoration efforts at all levels of government and across the country. For more than a century, the United States has risen to meet the major environmental challenges facing our nation. Conserving 30 percent of our lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 — a commitment that is widely supported by Americans, with 4 out of 5 voters expressing support — is a critical milestone in the effort to tackle the challenges we face today.
As the Biden-Harris administration works to achieve the national 30×30 target, we, the undersigned 342 organizations and businesses, on behalf of our members and supporters, stand in support of this ambitious and inclusive vision for conservation. By empowering the ongoing, locally-driven conservation efforts of communities across the country, your administration can help limit the negative consequences and immense costs of climate change, a critical goal not only for the Biden-Harris administration, but for our planet.
The science is clear: conserving and restoring 30 percent of lands, waters, and ocean worldwide is the bare minimum needed to save nature and buffer against the worst impacts of climate change. Our future depends on the natural systems that provide our food, clean air, and fresh drinking water, and are the source of our well-being and economic security. At a time when the nation faces many challenges ahead, your administration can help drive meaningful economic recovery and safeguard the future prosperity of communities across America by investing in restoring our natural systems.
And by conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and inland waters and 30 percent of our nation’s ocean by 2030, your administration has a unique opportunity to work towards a more inclusive and equitable vision for nature conservation that better reflects the nation’s values. For too long, the costs and impacts of the loss of nature have fallen disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color. Due to the inequitable distribution of greenspace, these communities are denied nature’s benefits and suffer from higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. In reaching a 30×30 goal, we can help end this shameful legacy. We are also pleased that 30×30 will honor Tribal sovereignty and prioritize Tribal communities’ visions for the stewardship of natural, cultural, and historic resources, leading us all closer to environmental justice.
Conserving 30 percent of our lands, waters, and ocean is a unique opportunity to support community-led conservation efforts and engage with all those on the frontlines of stewarding, restoring, using, and enjoying nature. Your efforts will only succeed by supporting the efforts of local communities, and by listening to experts on the ground — including landowners, Indigenous peoples, scientists, and other resource experts. For communities across America who have long been doing the meaningful work of conserving and restoring the places that matter most, 30×30 is a welcome indication that they now have a supportive partner in the White House.
We look forward to collaborating with your administration, local and state leaders, farmers and ranchers, sportsmen and women, fishers, diverse communities across America, and the multitude of stakeholders committed to accelerating the pace of locally-driven conservation, advancing nature-based climate solutions, and ensuring that nature’s benefits are accessible to all Americans.
Together, we can take bold action to stem the collapse of the natural world we all need to live and thrive.