America the Beautiful Atlas Should Prioritize Conservation and Restoration Efforts to Safeguard Wildlife, Address Climate Crisis, Expand Access to Nature

WASHINGTON — The National Wildlife Federation urged the Department of the Interior to use the best available science to develop the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, an element of the America the Beautiful Initiative, to prioritize efforts to safeguard wildlife, tackle the climate crisis, and expand opportunities for all people to safely access nature. More than 16,000 comments were submitted by members of the National Wildlife Federation. The atlas will be used to identify the ongoing contributions made by federal, state, local, Tribal, and private partners to fulfill the administration’s plan to conserve and restore 30 percent of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030.

“Conserving and restoring America’s lands and waters is critical to address the interrelated climate, wildlife, and environmental justice crises. The America the Beautiful initiative rightly puts forth that achieving these goal requires unprecedented collaboration among Tribal leaders, farmers, ranchers, forest stewards, hunters, anglers, business leaders, and communities. We cannot merely designate and regulate our way to our goals-- we must inclusively bring people together,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “By providing a clear road map for investment on public lands and waters, broader opportunities for voluntary restoration measures on private lands, greater consultation with Indigenous and local communities, and expanded opportunities for all people to connect with nature – especially in communities that have historically had inequitable access – we can ensure that the benefits of America the Beautiful endure for generations to come.”


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