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New Mexico Conservation and Environmental Leaders Applaud “America the Beautiful” Initiative


  Commentary: Today, the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Executive Office of the President released a comprehensive report on achieving President Biden’s commitment to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030. 

New Mexico conservation leaders share their thoughts and aspirations related to the new report:

Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition:

“A national 30x30 goal will ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race or status, will have access to our pristine natural world. Frontier communities in New Mexico and across the country will thrive. The outdoor economy will grow, creating clean, healthy jobs. Nature can heal, and we can help to lessen the impact of the current climate crisis, ensuring clean air and clean water for our children and grandchildren.”


Angel Peña, Executive Director of Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project:

“74% of communities of color and 70% of low-income communities in the U.S. live in nature-deprived areas. 30x30 is a strategy that recognizes just how intertwined our open spaces and the environment are with issues centered around justice, race, and equity. It’s a strategy to affirm Indigenous self-determination. It’s a strategy for increasing access for people of color. It’s a strategy for restoring and safeguarding our land and water for future generations to experience and learn from.”


Mark Allison, Executive Director of New Mexico Wild:

“With 30x30, the Biden Administration is enacting a necessary course correction after the previous president rolled back common-sense protections and undermined the conservation movement at every step. We must rise to meet the environmental challenges facing New Mexico and protect the traditional uses of our public lands that are a significant part of our shared culture.”


Demis Foster, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico:

“The overwhelming majority of our country (86% of voters) support a national 30x30 goal. Here in New Mexico, where the extractive industry is attempting to tighten its stranglehold on our economy and land, we’re seeing communities that are already suffering from generational health crises. The President’s ambitious commitment to protect our land and water is exactly what is needed to ensure a more inclusive and equitable vision for our country that also boosts our economy.”


Jesse Deubel, Executive Director of New Mexico Wildlife Federation:

“Nature and critical habitats are on the verge of collapse. For sportsmen and sportswomen who continue traditional New Mexican activities like hunting and fishing, this means potentially losing part of our heritage. Every 30 seconds, we lose a football field worth of our country’s natural areas, so it’s critical we act now and that we act decisively to safeguard our wild places, including land, rivers, and the ocean.”