By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Kansas U.S. Senator Dr. Roger Marshall hears his constituents in their concern for the rural implications of President Biden's plan of protecting 30% of the U.S. by 2030.
"You talk about getting people fired up," Marshall said. "We've done about 23 town halls now, I think and this is the number one emotional issue out there, that President Biden is proposing that the federal government control 30% of our land by the year 2030. You talk about upsetting people, start messing with their property rights."
Marshall notes that it would take a lot to get that much land out of service in Kansas.
"Only three percent of the land in Kansas is owned by the government, by the state or the federal government," Marshall said. "Even if we would take that and we would put it into CRP, if we would take 30 percent of the farmland in Reno County out of production, think what it would do to downtown Hutchinson, Kansas."
There's no mistaking it, jobs would be lost.
"If we would take 30% of Kansas land out of production, it would be the end of so many hospitals in the state of Kansas," Marshall said. "We would have to consolidate more schools. It would probably mean losing 75,000 jobs in the state of Kansas."
National Geographic reported in January that to reach the 30 by 30 target will require conserving an additional area twice the size of Texas, more than 440 million acres, within the next 10 years.