Washington, D.C. — Before he took office, President Joe Biden pledged to put the United States on track to conserving 30 percent of its lands and waters by 2030. Despite the prospect of a divided Congress, President Biden still has the executive authority to meet this commitment during the next two years of his term in office, according to a trio of new publications from the Center for American Progress.
The publications outline actions the Biden administration can take to meet the president’s “America the Beautiful” initiative.
“Biden and his team have the tools at their disposal, but the clock is ticking,” said Drew McConville, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the report. “The coming months will be critical if Biden is going to keep his conservation commitment within reach.”
Some examples of potential executive action include:
- Designating new national monuments
- Designating national marine sanctuaries
- Conserving high-value Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands through rulemaking and planning
- Issuing a national forest climate rule and conserving old forests across public lands
- Creating and expanding national wildlife refuges
- “Withdrawing” sensitive and sacred lands from future drilling and mining, including Chaco Canyon, Thompson Divide, and Boundary Waters
- Restoring protections and pursuing Indigenous-led conservation opportunities for BLM lands in Alaska
- Harnessing new funding for conservation from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act
A separate analysis offers specific details on 16 national monuments and marine sanctuaries the Biden administration should create or expand, such as Avi Kwa Ame, Castner Range, and the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley sites.
A third piece discusses pending project decisions in Alaska that, along with proactive measures, will help define Biden’s conservation and climate legacy. From a potential Arctic oil drilling hub to a mine that threatens one of the world’s most productive salmon fisheries, these sites will have an outsize impact on the nation’s overall climate and conservation progress.
All three CAP publications are available on a special series page.
- “Executive Action vs. the Nature Crisis: Top 8 Opportunities President Biden Should Pursue To Meet His America the Beautiful Commitment” by Drew McConville, Michael Freeman, Sam Zeno, Ryan Richards, Angelo Villagomez, Jenny Rowland-Shea, and Nicole Gentile
- “16 National Monuments and Marine Sanctuaries Biden Should Create or Expand” by Drew McConville, Angelo Villagomez, Sam Zeno, Michael Freeman, and Nicole Gentile
- “Project Decisions in Alaska Will Help Define Biden’s Conservation and Climate Legacy” by Drew McConville, Jenny Rowland-Shea, and Michael Freeman
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at firstname.lastname@example.org.