Few would be surprised to learn that New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, would be the first to move beyond the 30 x 30 land protection goal of environmentalists, and jump right to the ultimate agenda: permanently protecting “half” the earth. The “Half Earth” project founded by E.O Wilson, advocates to save humanity from the climate crisis progressives believe we are facing, half of the earth must be set aside in its natural state. August 25th, the New Mexico Governor took the first step towards contributing 50 percent of New Mexico to this goal when she signed Executive Order 2021-052: “Protecting New Mexico’s Lands, Watersheds, Wildlife and Natural Heritage.”
The Executive Order calls for conserving 30 percent of New Mexico’s lands by 2030, plus another 20 percent designated as “climate stabilization areas.” What qualifies as “conserved” is not defined, following the President’s lead to hide the ball on 30 x 30. Also, the areas that qualify for “climate stabilization” are not specified, nor is the term explained.
The New Mexico State agencies are directed to review “existing authorities, funding, and programs … to support and implement programs designed to conserve, protect and enhance lands and natural environments.” Working with federal, tribal and local partners, the state agencies are directed to engage in “resource management plans, transportation and energy development projects, and any other activities that impact land and water conservation, including wildlife mitigation .…” Evidently, it will be left up to the collective judgement of agency personnel to determine what lands and restrictions qualify under the program.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-82-20 calling for the conservation of 30 percent of California’s land on October 7, 2020, and the Nevada Assembly passed resolution AJR3 May 25, 2021, calling for the conservation of 50 percent of Nevada’s lands. The Nevada resolution also urges President Biden “to support a long-term goal of protecting 50 percent of the planet, inland waters and oceans.” While this is just a resolution, and not legislation, it is a strong warning to those who believe they can negotiate with environmentalists to keep working lands working.
Using All the Tools in the Toolbox
Absent specific details from the Administration on how they plan to achieve 30 x 30, we can learn a lot by watching what they are doing. Conservation programs, where landowners are encouraged to temporarily take their lands out of production or permanently place them in a conservation easement, have been aggressively pushed by the Administration, and have made it uncomfortable for Agriculture organizations who benefit from these programs to oppose 30 x 30. The hunt and fish community was handed a nice carrot August 30th as the Department of Interior announced the largest expansion of areas open to hunting and fishing – 2.1 million acres, primarily on national wildlife refuges. And for the radical core of the environmental movement, the President proclaimed September “National Wilderness Month,” calling for protecting more lands under the Wilderness Act.
Expect many more actions like these to occur as the White House fulfills its promise to use all the tools in the toolbox to implement 30 x 30.
Protect Your Homefront
As we have been traveling across America educating on this radical environmental agenda seeking to permanently protect 30 percent of our lands and oceans by 2030, we have been encouraging local governments to pass resolutions opposing the effort. This is critical to counter the Biden Administration’s message that 30 x 30 is “locally driven.” There are now eight counties in New Mexico who have passed the resolution. However, we are aware of only one county in Nevada, Elko County, that has formally opposed the agenda. No county in California has formally stated their opposition.
You can find all the tools you need to educate your community and elected officials through our website homepage. These include the downloadable “Guide to Fight 30 x 30,” and model resolution in an easily editable word file. You can also see who is on the map opposed to 30 x 30 and find out where we will be speaking next to help you learn more.
If your area has not formally opposed 30 x 30, you need to educate your community. The environmentalists are well organized, well-funded, and committed to permanently protecting your land. Or, as Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimando stated May 7, 2021, reported by “Vox:” “30 percent isn’t the end …30 percent is the beginning. It’s setting a very strong foundation and we hope [it] will build the momentum for longer-term conservation to benefit current and future generations.”