On December 15, 2021 California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released a draft of Pathways to 30x30. This document will guide California as it seeks to conserve 30% of our land and waters by the year 2030. The 30x30 initiative is an ambitious goal and one that EPIC applauds. And that’s why it’s so important that we get it right as a State. The document contains important information like the State’s definition of “conserved land”, policies regarding working together with Native American Tribes, and much more. The document is a good start but could be strengthened.
For instance, there is scant information in the document about how exactly 30x30 will be implemented. You can write the most beautiful plan in the world. But if there isn’t a tangible way to implement it, it will just sit on a shelf in Sacramento and never make a difference. Another issue with the plan is that it doesn’t discuss our State Forests like Jackson Demonstration State Forest. Although a small percentage of our overall lands in California, our state forest system are low hanging fruit for conservation because they are already public land, contain high carbon density ecosystems, and could provide more opportunities for public recreation.
State forests like Jackson could become part of a large system of state carbon reserves, areas conserved not only for their ecosystems but also for their climate sequestration power. The current plan comes close to advocating for this policy. One of the current criterias for consideration of conservation of a land is carbon sequestration and storage value/potential. But we believe the plan should more directly call for the creation of carbon reserves, prioritizing areas with the highest carbon storage potential like our coast redwood forests.
On February 1st, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm CNRA will be hosting a virtual meeting for the public to provide feedback on the document. You can register here to give public comment. We need you to provide public comment advocating for stronger implementation policies and consideration of Jackson to be included in the 30x30 plan.
If you can’t make the meeting on February 1st, no worries. You can also submit a written comment here, write an email to Californianature@resources.ca.gov, leave a voicemail message at 1-800-417-0668, or send snail mail to California Natural Resources Agency
715 P Street Sacramento, CA 95814.