Nevada Assembly Backs Benchmark to Conserve Lands and Waters to Address Environmental Crisis
Posted by Angelyn Tabalba in on April 9, 2021
Nevada joins a nationwide movement to conserve 30 percent of lands and waters by the year 2030
NEVADA — Today, the Nevada State Assembly voted to pass AJR 3, a resolution to urge the conservation of 30 percent of Nevada’s lands and waters by the year 2030 in response to scientific recommendations to address the current extinction, climate, and biodiversity crisis. The resolution, sponsored by Assemblywoman Cecelia González, represents Nevada’s commitment to becoming a leader in conservation by joining the ‘30 by 30’ movement, a broader international effort to adopt the ambitious conservation goal to protect biodiversity and mitigate climate change.
“AJR 3 is a brilliant opportunity to help reverse the destruction of wildlife and confront the climate crisis that we face in Nevada in a manner that urges cross-government collaboration and includes and respects Indigenous voices and conservation efforts,” said Assemblywoman Cecelia González. “I am proud that my colleagues in the State Assembly understand the severity of the threat of the environmental crisis and stand with the conservation community, climate policy experts, environmental scientists, and Nevadans who have long called for ambitious conservation goals.”
“In the last 20 years, Nevada has lost more than nine million acres of wildlife habitat to wildfires alone and the state ranks third in the nation for the number of species at risk. As Nevadans, we have the duty and the responsibility to safeguard the natural resources and wildlife that support our ecosystem and make our state so unique,” said Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg. “AJR 3 expresses Nevada’s support for a ‘30 by 30’ goal — a bold, ambitious nature-based solution that will create a healthy, livable planet for decades to come. Our conservation community is grateful to Assemblywoman González for putting forth the necessary legislation to conserve Nevada’s lands and pristine waters and curb the mass extinction of our wildlife and proud that our legislators in the Assembly could help bring us one step closer to a codified commitment to conserving 30 percent of Nevada’s lands and waters by 2030.”
Nevada conservation groups and local businesses demonstrated their support for AJR 3 in a joint letter to Nevada legislators. With Nevada’s abundance of public lands, natural resources, and wildlife, the state has the unique opportunity to lead in this effort and contribute greatly to a national goal. Land and water conservation also supports a booming outdoor recreation economy, an industry that already contributes significantly to Nevada’s economy, generating $12.6 billion yearly in consumer spending, 87,000 jobs, and $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue.
In Nevada, government leaders and the public have indicated support for the ambitious conservation goal. Last month, a bipartisan array of 70 mayors from across the country, including Nevada Mayors Hillary Schieve and Daniel Corona, signed on to a letter pledging their support of the 30 by 30 initiative. Additionally, 450 state and local elected officials declared support for ‘30 by 30,’ including 14 leaders from Nevada. A recent poll from Colorado College indicated that 82 percent of Nevadans support a national 30 by 30 benchmark.
Additional Information on ‘30 by 30’:
The ‘30 by 30’ conservation goal has received cascading support and action from local, state, and federal governments and organizations and comes in response to scientists’ recommendation to mitigate a steep decline in nature.
During his first days in office, President Biden made bold moves for environmental protection that included signing an executive order that commits to conserving 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has also been a leader on 30 by 30. Last Congress, Secretary Haaland was instrumental in leading a House resolution to support 30 by 30 and recently recommitted to these goals during her Senate confirmation hearing.
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.