How conserving 30 percent of the United States’ lands and waters can protect biodiversity, combat climate change, and benefit all Americans

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Grand Teton | Grand Teton National Park

In this report, we explore some — but certainly not all — of the methods of land conservation that will be integral to achieving the 30x30 goal. Along the way we explore some of the places that have already been protected, celebrating past conservation efforts and considering how to move forward to protect our lands, waters, wildlife, and the communities that rely on them.


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This story map is the ninth installation of our ongoing “Road to 30” series exploring the vision of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. In this storymap, we’ll explore how conserving more land and water directly benefits hunters and anglers, examines barriers and challenges faced by sportsmen and women that impact their ability to hunt and fish on public and private lands, and illustrates how the 30x30 goal can improve recreation access and protect fish and wildlife.


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This story map is the sixth installation of our ongoing “Road to 30” series exploring the vision of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. In this storymap, we’ll explore how conservation efforts in urban areas can help address environmental injustice and the nature and climate crises simultaneously, and put locally-led conservation efforts that benefit people as well as nature into practice.


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This story map is the sixth installation of our ongoing “Road to 30” series exploring the vision of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. In this storymap, we’ll explore the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a landmark effort to conserve the iconic California desert and focus renewable energy development in suitable areas — a consensus plan that the Trump administration may soon roll back.


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National Bison Refuge | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This story map is the third installation in our ongoing “Road to 30” series exploring the vision of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. Here we will look at how National Wildlife Refuges play an important role in reaching 30 percent protected land while also increasing recreation access and environmental education opportunities for local communities.

View Storymap Here

Across America, natural areas that we rely on for clean air and water, biodiversity, outdoor recreation, and local economies are disappearing. From habitat fragmentation to the widespread impacts of climate change, lands and waters throughout the country are being lost to development and degradation every day.


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This story map is the second installation in our ongoing “Road to 30” series exploring the vision of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. Here we will look at the ways tribal land management can play an important role in reaching 30 percent protected land and how cooperation around the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument serves as a promising model.

View Storymap Here

Across America, natural areas that we rely on for clean air and water, biodiversity, outdoor recreation, and local economies are disappearing. From habitat fragmentation to the widespread impacts of climate change, lands and waters throughout the country are being lost to development and degradation every day.


Protecting 30 percent of America’s public lands and waters by 2030 starts locally

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This is the first installment in a series exploring the importance of protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030, and the ways land can be conserved to reach this bold conservation goal.

View Storymap Here

Across America, natural areas that we rely on for clean air and water, biodiversity, outdoor recreation, and local economies are disappearing. From habitat fragmentation to the widespread impacts of climate change, lands and waters throughout the country are being lost to development and degradation every day.


Maintaining our parks and creating new recreation opportunities are critical

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Family hike in New Mexico | Bureau of Land Management

Weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the Great American Outdoors Act was introduced in the Senate, with bipartisan support and tweeted endorsement from President Trump. The bill combines two popular programs that support conservation, rural economies, and access to outdoor recreation throughout the country — addressing the maintenance backlog at national parks and establishing permanent full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

As the country faces an unprecedented public health crisis, the Great American Outdoors Act is more important than ever. Public lands are a rare space where people can spend time in a responsible and socially distant way, benefitting both mental and physical health. As we recover, rural economies that have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic will benefit from jobs and new recreational opportunities and infrastructure, serving locals and boosting tourism, if the act is passed. …


Colorado College celebrates a decade of the State of the Rockies Project’s Conservation in the West Poll

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Hallett Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park | Rocky Mountain National Park Flickr

This year, Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Conservation in the West Poll, which has become a benchmark for assessing Western attitudes towards conservation and public lands throughout the past decade. The poll shows clearly that voters in the West care deeply about clean air and water, wildlife, and public lands; these voters prioritize public lands protection and expect the same values from their elected officials. …


Data show steady increase in Colorado, Wyoming spills, spike in New Mexico methane releases

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Wyoming’s Jonah Oil Field | Ecoflight

In recent years, oil and gas production has soared around the West, impacting land, clean air and water, and local communities. A new analysis by the Center for Western Priorities finds that oil and gas companies reported 2,811 spills in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico in 2019, nearly eight per day. Across the three states, drillers reported spilling 23,600 barrels of oil and 170,223 barrels of produced water — salty wastewater often laced with toxic chemicals.

The number of reported spills has increased steadily in Wyoming and Colorado over the past few years, rising 31 percent in Wyoming since 2015, and 58 percent in Colorado since 2012. Companies in New Mexico reported 1,352 spills, by far the most of the three states. While this represents an 11 percent decrease from the year prior, companies reported releasing 812 million cubic feet of methane — more than three times the amount reported the year before. …

About

Hannah Rider

Policy and Research Associate | Center for Western Priorities | Denver, CO

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