July 23, 2020

VIDEO: Udall Highlights 30 By 30 Resolution to Save Nature During ‘Road to 30’ Virtual Event with Nevada Conservation Leaders

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/VyHXPynYu8o  

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies joined the Center for Western Priorities (CWP) and the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) to hold the Nevada stop on the “Road to 30” virtual tour of states across the West. During the virtual event, Udall discussed the urgent need for the nation to address the nature crisis and how the national goal of conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 would benefit Western states, including Nevada.

Udall is the lead sponsor of the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature in the Senate. During the event, Udall was joined by CWP’s Executive Director Jennifer Rokala, Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts, and Jocelyn Torres, CLF’s Senior Field Director, to discuss the importance of grassroots conservation efforts in Nevada and the role that Bureau of Land Management lands can play to support the 30x30 goal. 

“Americans—Westerners in particular—treasure our nation’s public lands and want to see them protected and maintained,” Udall said. “However, scientists warn that one million species are at risk of extinction over the next decades and we are losing about a football field worth of natural area every 30 seconds in the U.S. Saving our natural world has never been so important, which is why I have introduced the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature. Western voters understand that we must take bold but achievable action to protect the places we love. They recognize that the goal of protecting thirty percent of our lands and waters by 2030 is fundamental to creating a livable and productive planet for future generations. Investing in conservation and our public lands is also key to our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, creating direct jobs and fueling the outdoor industry. Westerners value the spectacular beauty of the West – it’s our heritage – and these measures will help preserve public lands for future generations to come.”

“State and local governments have a vital role to play in protecting our land, water, and air. Even in Nevada, where so much land is federally owned and managed, local voices can lead the successful push for federal action,” said Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts. "Our legislature, governor, and congressional delegation have worked together to stop oil and gas drilling in the Ruby Mountains, fight the Air Force's attempt to take over the Desert National Wildlife refuge, and protect our public lands. Local management decisions for water, wildlife, industry, transportation, and land use all have direct impacts on our outdoor spaces. We must work together to ensure that our natural heritage is preserved and accessible to all - our health, happiness, and future depends on it."

“Our biggest opportunity to meet the 30x30 goal in Nevada is protecting intact, large and undeveloped landscapes, including the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument,” said Jocelyn Torres, Senior Field Director for the Conservation Lands Foundation. “Permanent protection is essential to ensuring the places that we love and that sustain us continue to be available for the health and healing of future generations. As Nevadans, we know the value and benefit of public lands and it's our responsibility to defend those values." 

“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 Jennifer Rokala, Executive Director of the Center for Western Priorities. “Despite the administration's best attempts to roll back conservation protections, there is strong bipartisan support from voters in the West to conserve our public lands for future generations, a critical step towards reaching this bold 30 by 30 goal.”

A video recording of this event is available here and on Roadto30.org. To learn more, watch 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.

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 to 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 (the 30×30 goal), 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 30×30 initiative, with majority support across party lines for the ambitious conservation goal.