In May, the Biden administration released a 24-page “Conserving America the Beautiful” plan with a goal of “conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.” The 30×30 idea is based on scientific guidelines that seek to mitigate climate change and preserve biological diversity.

A U.S. Geological Survey database shows 12 percent of the nation’s lands are protected in a natural state, but that does not include private lands, tribal lands, or multiple-use lands managed by the Forest Service.

The plan emphasizes voluntary efforts and pledges to work in “the spirit of collaboration and shared purpose.” Instead of emphasizing the 30-percent target, the initiative will document lands managed for conservation in an “American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas.”

Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory said progress will be measured based on the “benefits of conservation and restoration efforts” and “the health of ecosystems.”

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