American Farmland Trust views our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters as essential allies in the effort to reach the 30×30 goals for biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. The lands that they manage are critical for wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, food security, clean water, and rural prosperity.
The U.S. needs bold, new approaches to enlist their help at the vast scale required to effectively protect biodiversity and stabilize the climate. We will need to both protect vulnerable working lands from being permanently converted by development, and support landowners’ voluntary efforts to implement conservation practices, particularly in biodiversity hotspots, key connectivity corridors, and areas with high carbon sequestration potential.
To be successful, these policies must embrace USDA’s legacy of voluntary, incentive-based, and locally led conservation and be strategically targeted. To that end, we recommend that the Biden Administration take the following actions.