“For too long, communities of color and low-income communities across the country have faced a “Nature Gap” – meaning they have less access to nature because of the inequitable distribution of greenspace. Without having access to nature’s benefits, many Latino communities are suffering from higher rates of asthma, obesity, and other chronic diseases. Inequitable access to nature is a problem that national, state, and local leaders can no longer ignore.
“With scientists urging policymakers to protect at least 30 percent of U.S. lands, waters and ocean by 2030 as the bare minimum needed to address the climate crises, we must build on the momentum and continue to take action. By protecting far more lands and waters over the next decade, the U.S. can guarantee every child in America the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature near their home so Latino communities aren’t experiencing these severe consequences at a disproportionate rate. We need to continue protecting diverse communities and our natural heritage.
“We must continue designating monuments for our racially diverse communities. In El Paso, Texas, we call the administration to establish Castner Range as a National Monument. Castner Range holds a rich, indigenous history as the ancestral home to the Comanche and Apache tribes, who have left evidence of their existence in its cracks and crevices and even now continue to conduct ceremonies on the range. In Nevada, we join local tribes in calling for the establishment of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, containing some of the most culturally significant lands in the Mojave Desert.”
In early 2021, during his first weeks in office, President Biden established the first-ever national conservation goal to ensure all Americans, including Latino communities, have access to the outdoors by conservice 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Since then, more than 50 tribal leaders, local organizations and locally elected officials have expressed support and developed their own initiative to meet the 30x30 challenge.