Public Lands Council Addresses Slew of Industry Concerns During Spring Conference
Another spring conference is in the books for the Public Lands Council. Ranchers and other landowners gathered virtually for a conversation on endangered species, land management and more.
The public-private partnership of land management was a key focus during the Public Lands Council Spring Legislative Conference. PLC President, Niels Hansen, says they are advocating for voluntary conservation.
“We’ve continued to work with the agencies and the Administration on the President to 30 by 30, or America the Beautiful initiative we’ve worked hard in build, we’re been successful at having the Administration recognized that any livestock grazing is in fact a conservation tool. And it’s the best conservation tool that’s available for working on rangelands in landscape efforts.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Director, Martha Williams, acknowledged PLC concerns about the 30x30 initiative, but says they are hoping to make a collaborative process.
“An inclusive approach is amongst that a focus on locally led and locally designed conservation efforts produces those durable results that we must pursue restoration approaches that create jobs and support healthy communities that we honor property rights, that we use science as a guide and that we build on existing tools.”
She says they are also focused on ecosystem resilience with new funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law.
“We’ll bolster funding, stringent contracts, ecosystem restoration projects, invasive species detection and prevention, native vegetation restoration efforts. Around the country. And we’re working hard in this year’s money out the door. And I’ve had the privilege of visiting numerous numerous sites across the country to see that work already in action.”
U.S. Forest Service Director Dave Lytle also highlighted infrastructure funding opportunities.
“Of the $5.5 billion in funding provided to the Forest Service. By the infrastructure law, we are investing $3 billion to reduce wildland fire risk to communities and to restore ecosystems and under our strategy and with this funding, we will begin to address the 20 million acres of additional work on National Forest System lands that we need to do work through and the additional 30 million acres of work that we need to work on on adjoining lands of multiple ownerships.”
The Forest Service recently released a new 10-year strategy for confronting the wildfire crisis, which includes hiring more firefighters and addressing the backlog of forest maintenance.
PLC members also set up in-person and virtual visits with their congressional representatives to discuss the drought, conservation and habitat management.