Photo: Gila River Bird Area, Dennis O’Keefe
A broad coalition of advocacy groups applauded Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s new executive order released in August outlining her administration’s commitment to protecting 30% of the state’s land and water by 2030. This effort is urgently needed to address the climate and extinction crises, ensure that our state’s treasured wild places like the Gila can be enjoyed by future generations of New Mexicans, while also building thriving local outdoor recreation economies.
At last year’s Gila River Festival, former Senator Tom Udall spoke about his 30×30 resolution introduced in the Senate and co-sponsored by Senator Martin Heinrich. A companion was introduced in the House by former Representative and now Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. In January, President Biden signed an Executive Order that commits the federal government to protection of 30% of the nation’s land and water by 2030. The E.O. was followed by the America the Beautiful Report that outlines the federal government’s path to achieving 30×30.
State action is critical to meeting the 30×30 goal across the country. New Mexico’s 30×30 Executive Order demonstrates the state’s “commitment to conserving the Land of Enchantment as we build resilience to live with the impacts of a changing climate.” A state agency task force will identify areas of protection throughout New Mexico to meet the goal of 30% of all lands protected by 2030 consistent with the federal America the Beautiful initiative.
GCC partner Gila Resources Information Project is a member of the New Mexico Conservation Coalition advocating for implementation of 30×30 goals in the state.