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30 by 30 plan raises concerns from some Kansas farmers

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s an effort by the Biden Administration to conserve the country’s land and oceans and to tackle climate change. The 30 by 30 plan, part of an executive order from President Joe Biden has a goal of preserving 30 percent of America’s land and waters by 2030. Many have questions about the plan that has some Kansas farmers worried that the government will take their land.

A Friday night meeting in Hill City is the latest among those taking place across Kansas, discussing the potential impact a National Heritage Area could have on their private land in northern Kansas and Nebraska. Also part of the discussion is the president’s 30 by 30 plan, which has some in northern Kansas fearing it could have an impact on their farmland. Many of them call it a “land grab” by the federal government and fear it’s an attempt to control agriculture.

“We don’t need the federal government telling us how to manage our land in the state of Kansas, period,” said Kansas farmer and rancher Mary Powell.

The executive order said it will work with state and local government territories and landowners, but doesn’t provide much detail on how it plans to gain control of the 30 percent.

To some, that’s a red flag.

“What’s it going to do to the family farms and ranches that’ve been around for centuries? It’s going to destroy them,” Powell said.

The attorneys general in Kansas and Nebraska on Thursday sent a letter to the Department of the Interior, opposing the 30 by 30 plan, calling it an “overreach,” and saying these decisions are best made at the state, local and individual levels.

At this point, it’s unclear where this land the federal government wants to protect will be. It currently owns about 12 percent of the land in the U.S.

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