October 07, 2020

Udall Hails California’s Commitment to Conserving 30 Percent of California’s Lands and Waters by 2030

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall  (D-N.M.), lead author of the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate, released the following statement applauding California Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order on biodiversity that establishes a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the state’s lands and waters by 2030.

“California’s official commitment to protect 30 percent of its lands and waters by 2030 is another sign of the growing momentum behind this necessary and achievable goal, and serves as a call to action for the nation. All Americans treasure our natural wonders and resources and want to see them conserved and maintained to ensure future generations’ sustainability. But the situation is indeed dire—worldwide we have lost two-thirds of documented wildlife in the last fifty years and scientists are warning that one million species are at risk of extinction over the next decades. Here in the U.S., we are losing about a football field worth of natural area every 30 seconds in the U.S., so quick action to conserve the natural world has never been so important. Human survival depends on the natural ecosystems around us – for clean air and water, medicine, outdoor recreation, food, economic growth, and more.

“Protecting and restoring thirty percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030 is an ambitious goal, and it will involve a diversity of efforts of conserving existing lands—with public and voluntary private action—and returning lands to a healthier state. It’s a national goal, but the individual pieces come best from state and local grassroots efforts. I am pleased to see Governor Newsom and the State of California embrace that collaborative approach. I encourage more states to pursue their own state-level goals.

“Western states like New Mexico and California are in the bull’s eye of the climate crisis—leading to increasingly destructive wildfires and drought. Taking action like 30x30 to conserve nature not only saves species from extinction due to habitat loss, but restoring lands is also a cost-effective way to fight greenhouse gas emissions and helps species adapt and migrate. Just as we must act to cut greenhouse gas pollution, we must also work to conserve and restore nature—and that starts with protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

Udall introduced the Thirty By Thirty Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), bold legislation that would set a national goal of protecting 30 percent of U.S. land and water by 2030.