State Joins President Biden in Commitment to Conserve 30 Percent of Lands and Waters by 2030
NEVADA — Today, the Nevada State Legislature passed AJR 3, a resolution to urge the conservation of 30 percent of Nevada’s lands and waters by the year 2030. With the passage of AJR 3, Nevada is the first in the country to pass legislation that commits to 30 by 30, paving the road for other states to adopt the conservation goal in response to scientific recommendations to address the current extinction, climate, and biodiversity crisis.
“AJR 3 represents Nevada’s strong commitment to safeguarding our natural heritage,” said Paul Selberg, Executive Director for Nevada Conservation League. “By working with local communities to conserve 30 percent of our lands and waters in the next decade, we can confront biodiversity loss facing our wildlife while heeding Nevadans’ call for meaningful conservation and climate action. Our state is home to an abundance of historical and cultural lands, including Avi Kwa Ame spirit mountain that allows Nevada to make an invaluable contribution to a national goal. We are proud to lead the way in this nationwide conservation effort and hope to see our neighboring states follow with bold collective action.”
“We are thrilled to see Nevada be the first state to pass 30×30 legislation,” said Alex Taurel, Conservation Program Director for League of Conservation Voters. “This victory represents a wave of legislation filed in state legislatures across blue and red states to meet the goal of protecting 30% of America’s lands and waters and affirms local support for conservation and the America the Beautiful campaign. Nevada’s commitment to creating more parks and open space and boosting the outdoor recreation economy can help combat climate change, the disappearance of nature, and inequitable access to the outdoors.”
AJR 3 urges federal, state, and local agencies to work collaboratively to identify opportunities to reach the ambitious conservation goal and highlights the need for equity and inclusion in conversations surrounding lands protection, emphasizing meaningful involvement from communities of color, Indigenous communities, and economically disadvantaged communities, as well as typical stakeholders such as landowners, recreationists, hunters, farmers, and conservationists.
Conservation is a key priority for Nevadans. According to a recent poll from Colorado College, 82 percent of Nevadans support a national 30 by 30 benchmark. In 2019, Nevada’s Governor and Legislature worked to establish the Office of Outdoor Recreation to support conservation efforts across the state. In January, 450 state and local leaders from across the country signed an open letter supporting the 30×30 goal, including 14 signers in Nevada, emphasizing the local benefits of a major shift in conservation.
A 2019 United Nations report estimated that about a million species are at risk of extinction across the planet, and America’s biodiversity is declining hundreds of times faster than the historical rate. Conserving 30 percent of the planet by 2030 will help boost the populations of wildlife enough to withstand climate change and other human disturbances, such as pollution and agriculture.
National leadership has emboldened the movement. During his first days in office, President Biden signed a 30 by 30 executive order committing the U.S. to this goal and most recently, outlined a plan to restore and conserve the country’s lands, waters, and wildlife with recommendations to reach the nationwide goal.