Governor Signs Executive Order Combating President Biden's Conservation Goals

June 25, 2021, noon ·

Photo by William Padmore

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed an executive order aimed at pushing back on the Biden administration’s conservation plans. From the governor’s mansion, Ricketts repeated claims President Biden’s executive order that sets the goal of conserving 30% of the nation’s land and waters amounts to a “land grab.”

“What we've asked for from the Biden administration is for more information, because their math doesn't work,” Ricketts said. “Either they're going to fail to get to 30% or they're not telling us something else about how they're going to get to 30% and that's what makes us concerned here in Nebraska”

Ricketts opposes the non-binding plan even though the Biden administration has said conservation efforts will be based on voluntary, incentive-based programs.

Rickett’s executive order, among other things, instructs the Department of Revenue’s Property Assessment Division to host workshops “to help county officials understand the tax consequences of conservation and preservation easements.”

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue attended the signing and says he and other landowners he’s spoken to are wary of the government and want more details from the White House.

“I think we always had to be careful, right? I mean, the federal government functions at a different level than state and even local. So, we need to make sure that the people that use the land every day have good input, 'cause I think that we're the best decision-makers,” said McHargue, referring to the state’s ranchers and farmers. “The failure of the administration to reach out and have a solid conversation with those that actually control the land, that's concerning.”

Over the past few weeks, Governor Ricketts has hosted town halls across rural communities to voice his concerns about the 30x30 plan.