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30 by 30: Conserving America the Beautiful



Biden Administration seeks to conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030

The Mule Deer Foundation sees lots to like about the Biden Administration’s newly released Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful initiative. The plan, released a few days ago, includes plans that support big game migration corridors and winter range conservation efforts that will benefit the struggling mule deer population. Unlike whitetail deer, which seem to thrive in relatively close contact with humans, muley numbers are a matter of concern for many conservationists.

The plan establishes guiding principles for the implementation of the vision outlined by President Biden in January to conserve 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by the year 2030. This includes implementing plans that were created under the Trump administration in 2018 at MDF’s Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. The framework specifically recommends expanding collaborative conservation of fish and wildlife habitats.

The plan is also popular with other sportsmen’s conservation outfits, earning plaudits from the National Deer Association (NDA) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

The framework outlines eight specific principles for implementing the conservation vision and ensuring the effort will be successful with long-lasting benefits. Of primary importance is the need for a collaborative and inclusive process to build consensus on local conservation efforts. In addition, the vision seeks to honor private property rights, encourage voluntary stewardship on working landscapes, and recognize tribal sovereignty, all of which are essential to conserving migration corridors that cross many land ownership boundaries. The final two principles focus on the use of science to guide conservation efforts and building on existing tools and strategies—like the big game migration initiative, State Wildlife Action Plans, migratory bird joint ventures, and Farm Bill conservation programs—that provide flexibility and adaptive approaches to conservation.

“The Mule Deer Foundation has been on the leading edge of implementing habitat conservation and restoration projects on big game migration corridors and seasonal ranges over the last few years and we appreciate the Administration’s recognition of this successful collaborative conservation effort in their America the Beautiful initiative,” commented MDF President/CEO Joel Pedersen. “In addition, the framework’s elements of incentivizing voluntary conservation efforts on private lands, expanding outdoor recreational opportunities, investing in habitat restoration and resilience, and supporting locally led conservation mirror the priorities carried forward to the Administration by the sporting-conservation community.”

“We welcome the opportunity to work with this Administration as they continue to develop the details on how to implement this framework,” concluded Pedersen. “We appreciate that many of the priorities expressed by hunting and angling groups were recognized in their recommendations and look forward to ensuring that the actions meet the ideals expressed in the America the Beautiful initiative.”

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