Public Lands Have Critical Role in an Equitable, Vibrant Future

WASHINGTON – “Current times demand new legal mechanisms for managing America’s public lands,” an NRDC expert will testify today. 

“Building back better requires natural infrastructure, not simply concrete or steel. Increased funding for local open space and private conservation can provide critical pieces to the 30x30 agenda,” Sharon Buccino, senior director for Lands at NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council), will tell the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in a hearing that convenes at 10:00 a.m. ET this morning.

“30x30” is a commitment the U.S. and other countries around the globe are making to highly protect 30 percent of lands, waters, and oceans by 2030 to address the climate and biodiversity crises.

“There is something in 30 by 30 for everyone,” Buccino says in her written testimony.  “It is not just about wilderness.  It is not one size fits all.  The task is too big.  We need private landowners, local governments, states and tribes to be part of the necessary conservation gains.”

“We need to include the voices of those who have been denied a meaningful role in managing our public lands—voices of indigenous and other people of color,” Buccino will also testify, calling for greater inclusion in decision-making on the management of natural resources as well as greater integration across ownership and jurisdictional lines.

Buccino calls for additional action by Congress and/or the administrative agencies, including:

  • Giving federal land management agencies the staff and resources needed for effective stewardship;
  • Supporting the immediate re-establishment of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Commission;
  • Helping state and local governments develop conservation projects and increase open space to bring nature to those who have not traditionally had access to it; and,
  • Limiting the lands and waters eligible for new oil and gas leasing.

The written testimony of Sharon Buccino, senior director for Lands at NRDC, is available here

Livestreams of the hearing will be available here (Facebook) and here (YouTube).

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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