June 25, 2020

Udall Highlights 30 by 30 Resolution to Save Nature During Colorado Stop on ‘Road to 30 Virtual Tour’

WASHINGTON—Today,  U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) joined Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director of the Center for Western Priorities and Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, for a virtual event to discuss urgent conservation priorities to address the nature crisis and how the national goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 would benefit the West. The event represented the Colorado “stop” on the “Road to 30 Virtual Tour” highlighting the need to act boldly to confront the nature crisis in Western states and across the world.

Udall is the lead sponsor of the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate, along with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Neguse is a co-sponsor of the resolution in the House. During the event, Udall, Neguse, Rokala and Nordini discussed the importance of protecting the West, and Colorado’s, lands and biodiversity and how states and citizens can contribute to this bold conservation goal.

“I grew up hiking, camping, fishing, rafting and kayaking all over the West, and like many westerners, this gave me a deep reverence and respect for the beauty and wonder of our lands, waters and wildlife,” Udall said. “The fight to preserve our outdoor places is personal for me—and essential to our area’s outdoor economy. But we are currently facing a nature crisis that threatens not only species, but human health and prosperity, which is why I introduced the Thirty By Thirty Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate. We must listen to the scientists and save 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030—not only to save the natural world we love, but to make sure our children inherit a livable and productive planet.” 

“Public lands are ingrained in our way of life in Colorado—they fuel our outdoor recreation economy, our main street small businesses and inspire us every day,” Neguse said. “And conserving and protecting these lands is inextricably linked to climate action. A commitment to conserve 30 percent of America’s lands and oceans by 2030 is absolutely essential and, as many scientists suggest, is a minimum step that must be taken to pull us back from the tipping point that nature and our climate have reached. I’m grateful for the work of the Center for Western Priorities and Conservation Colorado for their continued advocacy for our lands and for climate action and for raising awareness for these important issues. Climate change is the existential threat of our time, one that cannot be ignored or idled on, but one that must be met with bold and pragmatic solutions like the 30 by 30 resolution to protect our future and our planet.”

"Colorado has a long history of setting and attaining big goals—from clean energy to climate, to lands and waters,” said Nordini. “This is what we do. Protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 is an attainable goal that will unite our work to fight climate change, protect vulnerable communities, and to preserve our land, waters, and wildlife.”

“Scientists have urged us to protect at least 30 percent of our planet’s land and water resources as a necessary step to prevent the unraveling of the ecosystems that support all life on this planet,” said Rokala. “Despite the ongoing challenges we are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 30 by 30 goal is an important path to conserve nature, strengthen communities, and improve public health. We are excited to work with Senator Udall and Congressman Neguse to support their efforts to lead the next bold conservation idea to protect 30 percent of nature.” 

A video recording of this event is available at Roadto30.org. To learn more, view a new video explaining the 30x30 initiative featuring Udall and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala.

The “Road to 30 Virtual Tour” will visit states across the West throughout the summer. o  

BACKGROUND ON 30X30 INITIATIVE:

Nature across the world is collapsing, according to biologists. Global human activity has altered three-quarters of the Earth’s lands, and within the United States, about a football field worth of natural area is converted by human development every 30 seconds. Hundreds of scientists are warning the rapid loss of natural space will result in a mass extinction, exacerbated by climate change. In the face of this crisis, ecologists are urging the conservation of at least 30 percent of the planet’s lands and oceans by 2030 (30×30), a critical step that can protect nature, strengthen communities, and improve public health.

In a new 
Winning the West poll from the Center for Western Priorities, 75 percent of voters in five Mountain West swing states favored the 30x30 initiative, with majority support across party lines for the ambitious conservation goal.