Policy Update

Vermont “Community Resilience and Biodiversity Protection Act” Passes the Legislature

May 5, 2022

Region

Northeast

NCEL Point of Contact

Kate Burgess
Conservation Manager

Contact

On May 5, H. 606 passed the Senate, and now moves to the Governor for signing. This bill recognizes the catastrophic, human-driven decline of biodiversity, and sets goals to conserve 30% of lands by 2030, and 50% of lands by 50×50 in order to combat the extinction crisis and mitigate the growing impacts of climate change.

H. 606 defines three categories of conserved areas: biodiversity reserves, ecological conservation areas, and sustainable resource management areas. It also includes a goal to inventory both the amount of land in Vermont that is currently permanently conserved, and existing funding sources used for land acquisition and stewardship. 

If enacted, this bill will also require the solicitation of input from Indigenous groups, private landowners, NGOs, housing boards, and numerous other stakeholders during the land conservation planning process. As the 30×30 movement evolves, an emphasis on local collaboration remains a high priority of the White House for ensuring an equitable decision making process.

Other State Action

Currently, 11 other states are considering policies to advance a 30×30 goal, and 13 other states are considering legislation to protect biodiversity. Maryland and Vermont are the only two states to set their sights beyond 30×30, having introduced 40×40 and 50×50 goals, respectively. View 30×30 legislation here, and Biodiversity legislation here.

Bill Sponsors

This bill was sponsored by NCEL Member VT Representative Amy Sheldon.