Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics June 22, 2022


Copyright © 2022 University of Nebraska


In January 2021, the Biden Administration issued a climate policy executive order.[2] [or EO].[3] Section 216 of the Biden climate EO, Conserving & Protecting our Nation’s Lands & Waters, directed the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Commerce (which includes NOAA, the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) to prepare a report “recommending steps that the United States should take, working with state, local, tribal and territorial governments, agricultural and forest landowners, fishermen and other key stakeholders to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030.” In May 2021, the Section 216 federal agency report, entitled Conserving & Restoring America the Beautiful,.[4] promised to listen to almost everyone with an interest in the program, but did not identify how much of U.S. land and water resources were currently “conserved” or “conserved and protected;” did not define what “conserved” and “protected” means; and did not identify how far we had to go to accomplish “conserving at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030." There were suggestions that the USDA farmland conservation programs might count towards the 30% goal, but only suggestions.