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Gage County opposes 30 x 30 program
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Gage County opposes 30 x 30 program

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Gage County officials took a stance this week opposing a federal program they worry could restrict land use in Nebraska.

The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday passed a resolution formally opposing the 30 x 30 program.

Called a “land grab” by Gov. Pete Ricketts and other officials, the 30 x 30 program is a plan to permanently protect 30% of America’s land and oceans by 2030, and was adopted by President Joe Biden through Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” and signed Jan. 27, 2021.

In April, Ricketts and 14 other governors joined in submitting a letter to the Biden Administration addressing concerns with 30 x 30, and questioning how they plan to implement it.

Tanya Storer, a commissioner of Cherry County, spoke at Wednesday’s board meeting via Zoom to encourage Gage County sign a resolution voicing opposition to the plan, citing a lack of details in how the 30 x 30 program would be accomplished.

“Generally, our feeling in looking at the executive order that President Biden signed on Jan. 27 is that it gives a broad directive of conserving 30% of the land and water in the United States by 2030, but lacks specific detail on how that will be implemented,” she said. “Given the fact that there is an end goal without detail we felt it was important to be proactive and make it clear that we were opposing efforts that would restrict land use in any way.”

Storer told the board that 52 other counties in Nebraska have signed similar resolutions so far.

The resolution was approved by the board 5-1, with member Gary Lytle absent and Don Schuller voting in opposition.

“The governor’s campaign and this resolution is full of misinformation designed to create division and fear,” Schuller said. “This is completely for partisan political purposes.”

County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann supported the resolution to oppose 30 x 30, also citing unknowns in how the program would be implemented and if there would be an end date.

“A permanent conservation easement may say this is no longer usable land,” he warned. “Managing conservation is really important, but it’s also important to use your resources when you need to. Those are some of my fears, the permanence is really scary. All of us up here, I see four farmers being involved in agriculture in one way or another, I don’t think any of us would want to say we don’t want conservation of our land.”

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