WY Congresswoman Liz Cheney Introduces Legislation to Protect Private Property

by Andy Schwab

Today, Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced legislation that would protect private property rights from potential federal overreach that could be a part of the Biden Administration’s 30×30 initiative that would lock up public lands. Rep. Cheney said the legislation will ensure farmers and ranchers will not be undermined.

“The uncertainty created from the Biden Administration’s executive orders and their potential public land grabs are already making life more difficult for people across the Wyoming,” said Rep. Liz Cheney adding, “To counter the negative ramifications of these overreaching policies, the legislation I’ve introduced will protect the private property rights of individuals across our state who need access to these lands to provide for themselves and their families, while also ensuring that the current Administration’s political agenda will not undermine the interests of farmers and ranchers in Wyoming.”

Under the Biden administration’s 30×30 plan, America the Beautiful, the program stresses voluntary conservation and expansion of USDA’s conservation programs. Republicans, however, have portrayed the plan as an attempt to force conservation measures onto private landowners.

Representative Cheney’s legislation follows a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate back in May that would also nullify the executive order being used to put the 30×30 initiative in place and blocks any funds from being spent to carry out the initiative among other provisions.

In addition to Rep. Cheney’s statement, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon supported the legislation saying, “It is critical that any conservation initiative be locally-based, cooperative and truly voluntary. Representative Cheney’s bill ensures that any program is voluntary and recognizes the private property rights that are fundamental to Wyoming landowners.”

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association, also commended Representative Cheney for bringing this legislation and urges prompt Congressional action on its passage.


“For nearly six months Wyoming farmers and ranchers have operated under the shadow of President Biden’s ’30 x 30′ Executive Order,” said Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President, Wyoming Stock Growers Association. He added, “The potential threats to private property rights and the multiple use of public lands have hindered producers in making needed decisions with positive long-term implications for their business and for our state. Passage of this legislation will enable us to return to addressing natural resource management decisions based on sound science and economic analysis, not on political expediency.”

BACKGROUND

The purpose of the legislation is to provide that section 216 of Executive Order 14008 shall have no force or effect, and for other purposes. More specifics on the bill are included below:

  • Section 216 of Executive Order 14008 (86 Fed. Reg. 7619, relating to Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad) shall have no force or effect.
  • No Federal agency may take an action if such action is solely authorized by a report or recommendation issued pursuant to Section 216 of EO 14008.
  • Neither the President nor any Federal agency shall mandate state, local or Tribal governments, landowners, or others to participate in or adopt specific conservation practices pursuant to the 30×30 initiative or any other similar program, campaign or effort, including but not limited to the America the Beautiful campaign.
  • No Federal Agency programs or funds shall be used to:
    • Involuntarily acquire private property from private property owners to increase Federal government holdings of public lands pursuant to the 30×30 initiative.
    • Mandate private property landowners to participate in conservation practices on their farms or ranches pursuant to the 30×30 initiative.
  • The Department of the Interior shall pay on an annual basis the property tax amount assessed on any private lands that are acquired by the Federal government pursuant to the 30×30 initiative or any other similar program, campaign or effort, including but not limited to the America the Beautiful campaign, to the county where such private property is located.

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Office of Liz Cheney – 2021

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