Beyer Hails “America The Beautiful” Initiative
New Biden-Harris Administration vision for national conservation effort calls for measures proposed by Beyer’s legislation
Washington, May 6, 2021
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today issued the following statement on the Biden-Harris Administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative, a report submitted to the National Climate Task Force produced by the developed by the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The report calls for national goals including the conservation of 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters, and oceans by 2030.
The America the Beautiful initiative also contains (on page 19) a section on wildlife conservation calling for the expansion of “Collaborative Conservation of Fish and Wildlife Habitats and Corridors,” a goal supported by Rep. Beyer’s Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act, which passed the House last year. The report writes at length about the value of and need to support America’s outdoor recreation; the first citation in the document is a Bureau of Economic Analysis report on the economic impact from the outdoor recreation, a report undertaken as a result of Beyer’s legislation, the Outdoor REC Act, enacted in 2016.
“The Biden-Harris’ Administration’s ‘America The Beautiful’ initiative is a responsible, forward-thinking, and science-based plan to protect America’s lands, waters, and wildlife, while addressing the climate crisis,” said Rep. Beyer. “The goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters is ambitious but achievable. I am thrilled to see that this plan draws on legislation I enacted, the Outdoor REC Act, in making the case that conservation is good for our economy as well as for our environment, a point I have long argued in favor of. And I am likewise very pleased to see the support for wildlife corridors, which I will soon reintroduce legislation to establish. Finally, I commend the authors of this report for emphasizing a fundamental point that the previous administration never understood: conservation does not sacrifice jobs, it creates them.”
Beyer served two terms as a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, where he supported efforts to conserve American lands and waters led by now-Chairman Raul Grijalva. He has remained supportive of and involved in the Committee’s conservation work even after receiving new committee assignments.