Paul Weiland Discusses Impact of Biden’s 30 by 30 Plan
Paul Weiland was quoted in the Law360 article “Biden's Conservation Goals Leave Much To The Imagination” (subscription required). The article examines how the Biden administration has goals to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (the 30 by 30 plan), but has still not drawn up specific details that attorneys practicing in the environmental arena can use to advise clients about the plan’s impact on future projects.
Discussing the issue, Paul said, “The administration's document isn't legally binding and doesn't have any regulatory authority. So it's likely the executive branch will look to incentives to get to its goal.” He added, “They might try and leverage funding and encourage, for example, fallowing by farmers or use of conservation easements in certain circumstances that are more incentive-based.”
The article posits that one indication the Biden administration will not adhere to a strict definition of what is “conserved land” is the report's position that "conservation" of U.S. natural resources is not synonymous with "protection" or "preservation," and also that "many uses of our lands and waters, including of working lands, can be consistent with the long-term health and sustainability of natural systems." The administration also stated in its report that creating open spaces in underserved communities could be a positive way to rectify inequities and increase conserved land.
Commenting on this topic, Paul said, "That's probably in part a reflection of their focus on access and kind of environmental justice considerations…That suggests a relatively broad definition of lands that would qualify for conservation."