Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) is encouraged by President Biden’s executive order announcing the goal to fight climate change and create jobs, in part through the 30 by 30 initiative. In December, ORR provided the Biden transition team the ORR Transition Policy Paper outlining the outdoor recreation industry’s support for the 30 by 30 concept but noting the need to ensure public access is preserved as well as a desire to work with the administration on details and implementation.

“ORR is encouraged by the Biden Administration’s goal to combat climate change through the 30 by 30 initiative, but recreational fishing and outdoor activity interests need to be represented,” said Lindsey Davis, acting executive director of ORR. “Outdoor recreation contributes over $788 billion annually to the U.S. economy and includes over 5.2 million jobs. We are going to work with the administration to make sure that through this initiative Americans continue to have access to the public lands and waters that make outdoor recreation possible and that help to fuel so much of the nation’s economy.”

30 by 30 Section of the ORR Transition Policy Paper:

We support and embrace the overlap between our collective work toward conservation and the establishment of global biodiversity principles in the “30 by 30” initiative, which aims to conserve 30 percent of the globe’s lands and waters by 2030. Recreation access and the enjoyment of our public lands and waters is imperative to the success of 30 by 30. Well-managed and sustainable outdoor activities are in harmony with 30 by 30 goals and continue to support jobs and economic activity in communities across the country while areas are conserved for climate solutions. Maintaining the sense of connection to our abundant resources and unrivaled natural beauty that these activities provide is essential to ensuring we have natural resource and biodiversity stewards for the next century, just as we have had in the past, and that places transitioning from traditional extractive industries have a bright economic future.

Ensure that any “30 by 30” policies properly account for the following principles:

1.     Explicitly recognize the imperative role that outdoor recreation plays in conservation and as economic engines in communities throughout the country.

2.     Include protected area definitions that allow for well-managed and sustainable outdoor activities.

3.     Consider existing protected areas in measuring progress toward stated goals.  

4.     Seek to achieve targeted, science-based conservation measures developed through a stakeholder-driven process, that includes the recreation industry voice, to address biodiversity threats.

5.     Clearly define roles and authorities for the entities charged with carrying out the 30 by 30 initiative proposal.

6.     Through an objective, science-driven, stakeholder-engaged process determine the appropriate level of management necessary to meet biodiversity and conservation goals while supporting sustainable recreation.