Minnesota Republicans Send Letter to Biden to Voice Serious Concerns Over Biden’s Federal Land Grab Known as the 30x30 Initiative

June 15, 2021
Press Release
As the Representatives of 87 percent of Minnesota’s land, Minnesota’s Republican delegation demand answers on how this vague proposal would impact their constituents.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) along with Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), and Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) sent a letter to President Biden to express their serious concerns over his proposed “Conserving 30 Percent of America’s Land and Waters by 2030” initiative, otherwise known as 30x30.

The 30x30 land grab seeks to “preserve and conserve” 30 percent of all lands and waters in the U.S. by 2030. Specifically, this initiative would place 681 million acres of additional land and water under government control, including private land.

Hundreds of millions of additional acres, either privately owned or managed by federal, state, or local governments, are threatened by this land grab.

Congressman Stauber stated, “In northern Minnesota, we live, work, and play in the outdoors. Continued multiple-uses of our land, including recreation like ATV riding, hunting, snowmobiling, and fishing, along with productive uses like timber harvesting, mineral development, and farming, are absolutely essential to our livelihoods and way of life. Unfortunately, the 30x30 land grab proposed by the Biden Administration’s Interior and other Departments would impair my constituents’ ability to live their daily lives.

Stauber followed, stating, “It is mindboggling that President Biden and many of my Democrat colleagues hold the misguided belief that responsible stewardship means locking up our land and throwing away the key. As the Representatives of a majority of Minnesota’s land, my Republican colleagues and I are proud to demand answers from President Biden. He must be fully transparent on the enormous consequences that would result should this ill-advised proposal be implemented.”

The text of the letter is as follows:

Dear President Biden,

We write to express our grave concerns about the “Conserving 30% of America’s Land and Waters by 2030” initiative – better known by the tagline “30x30” – which is a threat to Minnesota’s way of life.

Although we comprise half of Minnesota’s delegation in the House of Representatives, the combined territory of our districts comprises 87 percent of our state’s entire land area.  As a result, 30x30 disproportionately harms our constituents, many of whom make a living farming, ranching, mining, recreating and timber harvesting.

While we all wish to be responsible stewards of our nation’s resources, we are disturbed by this blanket policy, which was initiated by D.C. bureaucrats without any engagement from state and local officials and provides no serious detail about how it will be achieved. We therefore have no idea how you plan to implement this agenda in Minnesota.  The only clue so far is a Statement of Administration Policy endorsing broad Wilderness designations and mineral withdrawals across the West that arbitrarily take industry and recreation offline.

As such, we respectfully ask your administration to provide detailed answers to the major questions related to critical sectors of our state’s economy:

  • First, considering the agriculture industry uses over half of our state’s total land area how many acres of this land in production will be locked up by 30x30, and from where?  Currently, 68,822 farms in our state support more than 431,000 jobs and generate over $112 billion for the economy.
  • Second, to what extent will 30x30 respect ongoing state and local conservation efforts?  For example, over 9 million acres of farmland utilize reduced-till and no-till practices which prevent erosion and cultivate long-lasting soil health.  Another 5,302 farming operations within our state plant cover crops that also improve soil structure, as well as sequester carbon.  If these voluntary state and local conservation practices are counted, we are already conserving more than 30 percent of our lands.
  • Third, what will be the economic impact of 30x30 to our state’s $4 billion mining industry, and how will you ensure our national security is not compromised?  Iron ore mining in northern Minnesota built America; 80% of our country’s steel originated as taconite, and these iron formations occur alongside massive deposits of copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum-group elements.  Based on a 2019 University of Minnesota Duluth study, our mining industry pays out almost $1.1 billion in labor income and invests more than $2.1 billion in the state.
  • Lastly, how will 30x30 impact recreational use of ATVs, motorboats, and snowmobiles?  Minnesota currently has 21,000 miles of snowmobile trails alone, which are funded and maintained by private groups with federal, state, and local cooperation. However, motor vehicles of all types are currently prohibited on federally designated Wilderness lands.   

We are committed to protecting our constituents from federal overreach so that they may continue feeding the world, harvesting resources, and preserving our beautiful land.  On behalf of rural Minnesota, we look forward to your timely response to our concerns.