NCBA, PLC Voice Opposition to Wilderness Designation

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, along with the Public Lands Council, are criticizing the Biden administration’s America the Beautiful campaign that includes an emphasis on wilderness designation.

NCBA’s Executive Director of Natural Resources, Kaitlynn Glover, says one of the goals of the Administration is to conserve 30 percent of public lands by 2030 and she noted cattle and sheep producers are the original conservationists.

“They not only should be at the table in these discussions, but also leading discussions on how best to create durable, healthy landscape. NCBA and PLC have really focused on making sure that the administration knows that conservation has to be interactive with the landscape rather than preservation.” 

President Biden is making a push for the expansion of the Wilderness Act of 1964 with the America the Beautiful conservation campaign and NCBA has responded unenthused with the president’s direction for wilderness designation.

Glover says the Administration’s push to expand the Wilderness Act of 1964 is not the best way to achieve lasting conservation.

“Wilderness designations try to create land that is wild, untraveled by motors and mechanized vehicles, but in practice this means tree thinning, fence maintenance, that has to be done by hand or packing simple tools in and out. It’s incredibly labor intensive and expensive.” 

Glover added both NCBA and PLC have actively engaged with the White House and federal agencies on the America the Beautiful Interagency Working Group to make clear what ranchers support, what they oppose, and how ranchers’ extensive knowledge and experience on the ground is critical for the administration to reach their conservation goals.