Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas says because of what he calls “President Biden’s 30 by 30 land grab,” he is backing off his previous efforts to sponsor the Chisholm National Historic Trail and Western National Historic trail Designation Act. He also wants Congress to investigate the President’s plan.
He says it’s clear the Biden administration cannot be trusted to protect the rights of private landowners. Lucas said he worked to expand landowner protections in 2021, a month before the Biden administration came out with its 30 by 30 plan which put restrictions on at least 30% of the U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
The plan, released a year ago, is described as a 10-year effort to conserve, connect and restore 30% of the nation’s lands and waters. Opponents contend the plan was advanced by radical environmental activists to permanently protect 30% of America’s land and oceans by 2030 and is an unconstitutional policy shift.
Critics say supporters of 30 by 30 contend that preserving 30% of America’s land and oceans is necessary to reverse climate change and action must be taken immediately.
” After that plan was released, I knew the Biden Administration could not be trusted to uphold Congressional intent in this space,” said Rep. Lucas in announcing his decision to reverse his support for the creation of national historic trails.
Lucas said he originally supported the trails bills in 2005 and 2007 because he was confident President George W. Bush would follow Congressional intent and uphold the landowner protections included in the text.
“The “America the Beautiful” Initiative, coupled with President Biden’s irresponsible budget request, has made it abundantly clear that this Administration cannot be trusted to protect landowners. Congress must realize that we cannot give those who support harmful initiatives like 30 by 30 any ability to erode private property rights,” proclaimed the Republican Representative.
Lucas said after hearing concerns raised during his recent town hall meetings, couple with Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget he changed his mind about supporting the historic trail measures. The congressman pointed out the President’s proposed budget included a request for $25.5 million to develop a Conservation and Stewardship Atlas to enact 30 by 30 and it caused him great concern.
“This is because of my belief that private property rights and healthy and resilient landscapes are the cornerstone of our Oklahoma way of life,” added Lucas.
He also recently wrote to Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman who chairs the House National Resources Committee to urge him to refrain from sending to the House floor any legislation to give the Biden administration a “foothold to encroach on the rights of private property owners.” Lucas also asked Westerman to use his oversight authority to investigate the administration’s 30 by 30 initiative.
“The notion set forth by President Biden and his Administration that we must protect 30% of America’s lands under a drastic ‘protected status’ by 2030 is nothing short of encroaching on the rights of Americans- and House Republicans are determined to not let that happen,” stated Rep. Lucas.