Are Calhoun County Farmers Facing A Federal Land Grab?
Early this year, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order. It was described as a way to handle the climate crisis at home and abroad. As more people get a chance to read over the long and detailed document, they are focusing on a provision calling for placing 30% of US lands and waters into conservation protection. Private landowners, especially farmers and agricultural businesses, are becoming worried about what it might mean to them. The timeline is short. It’s all supposed to take place within the next nine years, by 2030. Hence the “30x30” moniker some are now using to reference the EO.
The Michigan Farm Bureau reports farmers have not been given much specific information and many are worried about what all isn’t being disclosed by the government. They’re asking questions about government incursion into private property rights and how new regulations from the Biden Administration might impact their farming operations. The uncertainty is unsettling, to say the least.
Last week, Biden’s Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack tried to ease the worries. He met with reporters during a press event and said the government is now soliciting ideas on how to achieve the goal. But he also addressed the uncertainty saying, “I can assure you this: There’s no intention to have a land grab. There’s no intention to take something away from folks.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall has tried to be proactive on the issue. He sent a letter to the Biden administration earlier this month reminding the President that farmers are America’s original conservationists. And the government needs to acknowledge that fact and openly and truthfully engage farmers in whatever the administration has planned but isn’t yet saying.