Center for American Progress Pitches Conservation Easement Expansion

The Center for American Progress is calling on lawmakers to pass broad conservation efforts. The think-tank launched “The Race for Nature” Tuesday, its plan to stem nature loss through conservation easements. The organization says private landowners are going out of their way to protect wildlife habitat, but “the coronavirus-induced economic collapse will likely deal a catastrophic blow to families who make their living off their lands.” By definition, conservation easements are voluntary, legal agreements that permanently limit uses of the land to protect its conservation values.

The two-phased proposal calls on lawmakers to pass the first phase by September of this year. The first phase of the plan would increase funding for existing conservation easement programs, help landowners gain access to easements more quickly, and pilot new emergency conservation easement programs. The second phase targets the 2023 farm bill, saying lawmakers should codify reforms that further simplify and accelerate the implementation of conservation easement programs.

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