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Sand split at the Klamath River Mouth in California, the ancestral land of the Yurok people. Image: Linda Tanner/Flickr
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom enacted an executive order committing California to conserve 30% of its land and waters by 2030. This order compels California’s Natural Resource Agency to work with other state agencies to establish the California Biodiversity Collaborative which will then work with Native American tribes and other stakeholders to create a plan to achieve the conservation goal within a decade.
Why this Matters: California is a biodiversity hotspot and nature is critical to its tourism and agricultural industries. As Bay Nature Magazine wrote, At a time when development is paving over habitat and climate change is transforming ecosystems at an unprecedented pace, California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot says the state has a moral imperative to focus on biodiversity.
It’s also worth noting that achieving the Governor’s goal will necessarily require the consultation of native tribes as Indigenous groups are crucial to meeting ‘30 by 30’ worldwide.
The Impact: It’s unclear how much of Newsom’s executive order was symbolic since 47% of California’s coast and ocean is already under federal jurisdiction. This land is, by design, undeveloped, making it seem as if Newsom’s goal of 30% conservation has already been achieved.
However, there is a chance that the state government will protect California’s federal land from commercial uses — mining, logging, and cattle grazing, for example. Only 22% of California’s federal land and 16% of its waters are not used for commercial purposes, which would leave the state just shy of its 30 by 30 goal.
However, the state has no control over federal lands, so Newsom said he is aiming to work with private landowners and a diverse array of stakeholders alongside the federal government in order to achieve his conservation plans.
Go Deeper:Read more about why protecting 30% of nature by 2030 worldwide, is such a crucial goal.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer A study published yesterday in the journal Nature suggests that revitalizing ecosystems in a global, holistic way could be an immensely effective way to heal the Earth’s climate. In particular, forests, wetlands, and grasslands would benefit most from restoration — protecting just 30% of these priority areas could save […]
Why This Matters: As President Trump bleeds money from the military to build the border wall (which fortunately a federal court just put on hold), climate change — a real emergency for the military — goes unaddressed.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer In response to the Trump administration’s move to open the Tongass National Forest to logging, 11 Southeast Alaska Native tribes have petitioned the USDA to implement a new rule that would require the Forest Service to consult with them on land use decisions. The rule would force the Forest […]
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