Read original post here: Nevada Conservation League
By Angelyn Tabalba
On April 20, Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a resolution to conserve 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. Prior to the vote, local businesses, Native groups, and conservationists alongside Commissioner Justin Jones shared the wide-ranging benefits of a 30 by 30 commitment in Nevada.
“Nevadans have a deep appreciation for our public lands and waters and understand our vital role in ensuring they are maintained for future generations,” said Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones. “30 by 30 not only represents our commitment to a sustainable, climate-resilient future, but also calls on us to implement strong collaborative processes that engage local communities, landowners, hunters, fishers, off-road enthusiasts, Indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders, just as we did with the lands bill process.”
“From dwindling wildlife diversity to declining water levels to intense heat waves, Nevada is on the front lines of the environmental and climate crisis. However, there is still hope for our environment if we act boldly and quickly,” said Nevada Conservation League Communications Manager Angelyn Tabalba. “A 30 by 30 resolution is the meaningful action we need to bring us closer to confronting these crises, and in a manner that emphasizes opportunities to expand the state’s growing outdoor recreation economy and build a more inclusive conservation movement that respects Indigenous efforts and promotes cross-government collaboration.”
Leaders in Nevada have recognized the undeniable economic, social, and health benefits provided by outdoor recreation that make investments in conservation much more valuable.
“Boulder City has a proud history of conserving our surrounding desert landscape that all of us hold so dearly,” said Boulder City Councilmember James Adams. “I am glad that Clark County could make that same commitment today with the passage of the 30 by 30 resolution, bringing a myriad of opportunities for outdoor tourism that have already bolstered Boulder City’s economy.”
“In Nevada, the outdoor recreation industry generates $12.6 billion yearly in consumer spending, supports 87,000 jobs, and brings in $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue,” said Escape Adventures and Las Vegas Cyclery CEO Jared Fisher. “Conserving lands and waters through 30 by 30 fuels a booming outdoor recreation economy that supports our state’s revenue, boosts local businesses, and creates jobs — important as ever as we continue to recover from this devastating pandemic.”
Achieving 30 by 30 provides a chance to help tribal communities fulfill their visions for the stewardship of Nevada’s natural resources, and in doing so build a more inclusive conservation legacy.
“Today’s Clark County Commission vote to adopt a 30 by 30 resolution is a step in the right direction of honoring lands that were taken from their rightful stewards, the Indigenous people of Nevada,” said Native Voters Alliance Nevada Executive Director Taylor Patterson. “It is encouraging that two areas suggested in the resolution, Avi Kwa Ame and Desert National Wildlife Refuge, are sacred spaces to tribal nations. I am hopeful this resolution and others like it, will lead to a more meaningful relationship between the conservation community and Indigenous people.”
“In achieving 30 by 30, we can prioritize and expand spaces of natural, cultural, and recreational significance, including Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area,” said Save Red Rock President Heather Fisher. “Facing mounting pressure for conservation, we are fortunate that Senator Cortez Masto expanded this treasured landscape with new protected public land in the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act, which would contribute over 51,000 acres to the 30 by 30 initiative. We are grateful to the Clark County Commissioners for backing this important commitment, especially on behalf of our crown Jewel, Red Rock Canyon.”
The 30 by 30 benchmark comes from a growing international movement encouraging strong conservation policies to address rapid biodiversity loss and protect natural ecosystems. A 30 by 30 resolution was also introduced in the state legislature by Assemblywoman Cecelia González.
“Conserving 30 by 30 is crucial to securing a better future for our wildlife, climate, and public health, and I’m glad our Clark County Commissioners could recognize that with today’s vote,” said Assemblywoman Cecelia González. “I am excited to see the growing momentum for 30 by 30 in Nevada and I hope to see our great state become leaders in conservation with the passage of my bill, AJR 3.”
With more people exploring Nevada’s public lands than ever before, impacts to the landscape are on the rise. This raises concern amongst conservationists and state officials about how best to protect the environment.
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