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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced legislation that would protect private property rights from potential federal overreach that could be a part of the Biden Administration’s 30×30 initiative that would lock up public lands. The full text of the legislation can be read here and additional details can be found below. Rep. Cheney also issued the following statement after introducing the bill: 

“The uncertainty created from the Biden Administration’s executive orders and their potential public land grabs are already making life more difficult for people across the Wyoming. To counter the negative ramifications of these overreaching policies, the legislation I’ve introduced will protect the private property rights of individuals across our state who need access to these lands to provide for themselves and their families, while also ensuring that the current Administration’s political agenda will not undermine the interests of farmers and ranchers in Wyoming.” -Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) 

In addition to Rep. Cheney’s statement, please see the following from Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon in support of this legislation: 

“It is critical that any conservation initiative be locally-based, cooperative and truly voluntary. Representative Cheney’s bill ensures that any program is voluntary and recognizes the private property rights that are fundamental to Wyoming landowners.” -Governor Mark Gordon (R-WY)

Jim Willox, the President of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA) said the following in response to Rep. Cheney’s decision to introduce this bill: 

“The Wyoming County Commissioners Association applauds Congresswoman Cheney’s efforts to limit the scope and impact of President Biden’s 30 x 30 campaign. Narrow application of this program is especially important in a state like Wyoming, where nearly half of the lands are already managed by the federal government. Congresswoman Cheney’s legislation would ensure that only willing Wyoming landowners participate in the 30 x 30 program and, moreover, that counties continue to generate much needed revenue off private lands that may be sold to the federal government.” -Jim Willox, President, Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA)

Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, also issued a statement about the importance of this legislation: 

“For nearly six months Wyoming farmers and ranchers have operated under the shadow of President Biden’s ’30 x 30′ Executive Order. The potential threats to private property rights and the multiple use of public lands have hindered producers in making needed decisions with positive long-term implications for their business and for our state. Passage of this legislation will enable us to return to addressing natural resource management decisions based on sound science and economic analysis, not on political expediency. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association commends Representative Cheney for bringing this legislation and urges prompt Congressional action on its passage.” -Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President, Wyoming Stock Growers Association

BACKGROUND

The purpose of the legislation is to provide that section 216 of Executive Order 14008 shall have no force or effect, and for other purposes. More specifics on the bill are included below:

  • Section 216 of Executive Order 14008 (86 Fed. Reg. 7619, relating to Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad) shall have no force or effect.
  • No Federal agency may take an action if such action is solely authorized by a report or recommendation issued pursuant to Section 216 of EO 14008.
  • Neither the President nor any Federal agency shall mandate state, local or Tribal governments, landowners, or others to participate in or adopt specific conservation practices pursuant to the 30×30 initiative or any other similar program, campaign or effort, including but not limited to the America the Beautiful campaign.
  • No Federal Agency programs or funds shall be used to:
    • Involuntarily acquire private property from private property owners to increase Federal government holdings of public lands pursuant to the 30×30 initiative.
    • Mandate private property landowners to participate in conservation practices on their farms or ranches pursuant to the 30×30 initiative.
  • The Department of the Interior shall pay on an annual basis the property tax amount assessed on any private lands that are acquired by the Federal government pursuant to the 30×30 initiative or any other similar program, campaign or effort, including but not limited to the America the Beautiful campaign, to the county where such private property is located.
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