[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 2 (Tuesday, January 4, 2022)]
[Pages 235-236]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-28548]



Office of the Secretary

[223D0102DM, DS6CS00000, DLSN00000.000000. DX6CS25; Docket No. DOI-

Request for Information To Inform Interagency Efforts To Develop 
the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas

AGENCY: Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Request for information and notice of public listening 


SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior (Department), on behalf of an 
interagency working group co-led with the Council on Environmental 
Quality (CEQ), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of 
Commerce (DOC) through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA), is soliciting comments to inform how the American Conservation 
and Stewardship Atlas (Atlas) can best serve as a useful tool for the 
public and how it should reflect a continuum of conservation actions in 
the America the Beautiful initiative, recognizing that many uses of 
lands and waters can be consistent with the long-term health of natural 
systems and contribute to addressing climate change and environmental 
injustices. The input received will be used to develop the Atlas.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments by 11:59 p.m. 
on March 7, 2022.
    The interagency group will host virtual public listening sessions 
at the dates and times below.
 Thursday, January 13, 2022, 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
 Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 6:00-7:30 p.m. ET
 Friday, January 21, 2022, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET

    Specific details will be posted on the Department's America the 
Beautiful web page on January 4, 2022. Listening sessions may end 
before the time noted above if all those participating have completed 
their oral comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be submitted through https://www.regulations.gov and will be available for public viewing and 
inspection. In the Search box, enter the docket number presented above 
in the document headings. For best results, do not copy and paste the 
number; instead, type the docket number into the Search box using 
hyphens. Then, click on the Search button. You may submit a comment by 
clicking on ``Comment.''

Intergovernmental Affairs Analyst, Office of Intergovernmental and 
External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, 
(202) 208-1923.

    Section 216(a) of Executive Order 14008 established the first-ever 
national conservation goal, calling for the conservation of ``at least 
30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.'' In accordance with 
Executive Order 14008, the Department, USDA, DOC, and CEQ released the 
Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report on May 6, 2021. 
The report calls for a decade-long national initiative to advance 
locally led conservation and restoration on public, private, and Tribal 
lands and waters. It acknowledges--and celebrates--the wide-ranging 
contributions that diverse conservation efforts can make to the 
initiative and its goals of tackling climate change, sustaining 
biodiversity, and increasing equitable access to nature.
    The report emphasizes that there is a continuum of conservation in 
America that aligns with the guiding principles of the initiative. 
These core principles commit the effort to:

 Pursue a Collaborative and Inclusive Approach to Conservation
 Conserve America's Lands and Waters for the Benefit of All 
 Support Locally Led and Locally Designed Conservation Efforts
 Honor Tribal Sovereignty and Support the Priorities of Tribal 
 Pursue Conservation and Restoration Approaches that Create 
Jobs and Support Healthy Communities
 Honor Private Property Rights and Support the Voluntary 
Stewardship Efforts of Private Landowners and Fishers
 Use Science as a Guide
 Build on Existing Tools and Strategies with an Emphasis on 
Flexibility and Adaptive Approaches

    The report also outlines the six areas of focus that elected 
officials, Tribal leaders, and stakeholders lifted up as early 
opportunities for successful collaboration: Creating more parks and 
safe outdoor opportunities in nature-deprived communities; supporting 
Tribally led conservation and restoration priorities; expanding 
collaborative conservation of fish and wildlife habitats and corridors; 
increasing access for outdoor recreation; incentivizing and rewarding 
the voluntary conservation efforts of fishers, ranchers, farmers, and 
forest owners; and creating jobs by investing in restoration and 
    The report specifies that an interagency working group will develop 
an Atlas through interagency collaboration to develop and track a clear 
baseline of information on lands and waters that are conserved or 
restored. The Atlas is intended to be an accessible, updated, and 
comprehensive tool through which to measure the progress of 
conservation, stewardship, and restoration efforts in a manner that 
reflects the goals and principles of the initiative. The interagency 
group, co-led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) within the 
Department as well as USDA and NOAA, in partnership with CEQ and other 
Federal agencies, will develop the Atlas with input from the public, 
States, Tribal Nations, scientists, and a wide range of stakeholders. 
While agencies have already received feedback

[[Page 236]]

on the America the Beautiful initiative from a broad set of 
stakeholders, this request for information offers a formal comment 
period to collect input specific to the development of the Atlas. The 
group is seeking input from the public on the following:
     Science and Data. What data sources, standards, and 
technical approaches should be applied to data included in the Atlas to 
ensure that it is an authoritative and useful tool for the public?
     Conservation as a Continuum. How can the Atlas reflect the 
meaningful conservation work already underway in America?
    [cir] What stewardship actions should be considered, in addition to 
permanent protections, to capture a more complete picture of 
conservation and restoration in America?
    [cir] What are the attributes of lands and waters that should be 
included in the Atlas? Considerations could include, for example, a 
clearly defined geographic boundary, status of ecological function, 
representation of species and habitats, extent of disturbance, expected 
future risks from climate change or other human stressors, ecosystem 
connectivity, or durability of management status.
    [cir] How can the Atlas best reflect the contributions of State, 
local, Tribal, territorial, and private lands?
     Outcomes. How can the Atlas best reflect land and water 
contributions to biodiversity, climate change mitigation and 
resilience, and equitable access to nature and its benefits?
    Additional information about this project can be found at: https://www.doi.gov/priorities/america-the-beautiful.

Eric Werwa,
Deputy Assistant Secretary--Policy and Environmental Management, 
Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Assistant Secretary for 
Policy, Management and Budget.
[FR Doc. 2021-28548 Filed 1-3-22; 8:45 am]