News Coverage

13 May 2022

VOICE OF OC: Final Pathways to 30x30 Report Shows Ambitious Work Ahead for California



Category: News Coverage

As a key step in implementing Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has released the final “Pathways to 30×30 Report.” The Executive Order calls on California to protect 30 percent of its land and waters by 2030 to counter catastrophic biodiversity loss, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and improve equitable access to nature and its benefits.

The Power in Nature coalition, a statewide coalition of conservation advocates, equity groups, Tribally-led organizations, scientists, and land trusts, expressed their support and appreciation today for CNRA’s 30×30 goals to protect biodiversity, advance climate action, and expand equitable access.

California has eight years to protect six million acres of land and half a million acres of coastal waters, a formidable goal that will require serious investments in conservation, a strong accountability structure, and long-term funding to build the capacity of Tribes, land trusts, and community-based organizations who are at the forefront of protecting California’s nature.

“The coalition is pleased to see an ambitious Final Pathways Report that aims to address our climate and biodiversity crisis, while calling for greater equity and Tribal investments,” said Brenda Gallegos, conservation program associate with Hispanic Access Foundation and co-chair of the Power In Nature coalition’s equity committee. “A critical next step is to secure the resources necessary to make this plan reality. We’re carefully watching the state’s budget developments, which must provide appropriate investments to see this work through, especially in underserved communities already suffering due to historic disinvestment.”

Coalition members point to the high stakes at hand when it comes to 30×30’s implementation. Climate change is rapidly closing California’s window of opportunity to protect the state’s treasured natural spaces such as deserts, beaches, forests, mountains, grasslands, and urban parks. The climate crisis is threatening the planet’s ability to sustain life, costing human lives as well as livelihoods. This impact falls disproportionately on low-income families and communities of color, who face the greatest barriers in accessing the benefits of nature and open space in California.

The following are comments from coalition members working to support 30×30 in California:

“The Power in Nature coalition is committed to California reaching the goal of protecting 30% of its land and coastal waters by 2030, and stands ready to support the Administration and CNRA to do whatever it takes to get it done.”

– Kay Ogden, Executive Director/CEO, Eastern Sierra Land Trust

“We’re thankful to the team at CNRA who have charted a path for California to reach our 30×30 goal. California is a global treasure, with the greatest variety of plants and other wildlife in the nation. Now, we owe it to ourselves and future generations to ensure this important plan is properly supported and administered.”

– Andrea Williams, Director of Biodiversity Initiatives, California Native Plant Society

“Sierra Club is looking forward to working in collaboration with the state, our partners, and communities across California to ensure California’s final 30×30 Pathways report lives up to its ambition, while holding polluters and exploitative industries accountable for actions that undermine our 30×30 goals. We are particularly hopeful that the 30×30 Coordinating Committee will serve as a meaningful pathway for grassroots stakeholders across California to engage in the state’s process, and ensure that it is accountable and transparent to communities across the state — especially those most impacted by climate change, pollution, and loss of nature.”

– Brandon Dawson, Director, Sierra Club California

“The California coast is home to blue carbon ecosystems, such as salt marshes and seagrass beds, that act as a natural solution to climate change by taking carbon out of the atmosphere every day. A successful 30×30 initiative will enable stronger and longer-lasting protections for coastal and ocean ecosystems in order to adapt to climate change.”

– Angela Kemsley, Conservation Director, WILDCOAST

“We are excited to see the Pathways Report look to enhancing conservation on public lands as a priority action to achieve 30×30. Federally-managed public lands provide ideal opportunities for enhanced conservation, and opportunities for the state to partner with federal agencies and to constructively engage in federal land management decisions.”

– Chris Morrill, Executive Director, California Wilderness Coalition

“Outdoor Alliance and its member organizations are thrilled with the California Natural Resource Agency’s leadership in advancing Governor Newsom’s Executive Order to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030. We applaud the agency for finalizing the 30×30 Pathways report and for recognizing how natural and working lands are a crucial part of the fight against climate change, will protect the state’s rich biodiversity, will advance conservation, and will improve equitable outdoor recreation access by ensuring that these important landscapes will be accessible for future generations.”

– Katie Hawkins, California Program Manager, Outdoor Alliance

“California’s commitment to preserving public lands for generations to come and to protect the planet sets the bar high for our country. Outdoor Outreach applauds the California Natural Resources Agency’s leadership in promoting an outdoors for all and an outdoors forever by developing a path forward that centers on conservation, equity, access, and environmental justice. We look forward to the State’s continued engagement of community partners that represent the diversity of public land users and stewards.”

– Lesford Duncan, Associate Executive Director, Outdoor Outreach

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