Letter: 30-by-30 —let’s hear from the Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

Letter: 30-by-30 —let’s hear from the Vail Valley

From state-wide drought, to unprecedented wildfires, to record-breaking temperatures, Coloradans are bombarded with evidence of climate change. Scientists urge us to conserve at least 30% of our planet’s land and oceans by 2030 to mitigate the climate crisis and slow species loss.

But today Colorado is losing open land faster than we’re protecting it: Over a half-million acres of natural lands were lost to development since 2001. Fortunately, a coalition of conservation groups has developed a detailed roadmap to preserve 30% of Colorado’s lands (an additional 14 million acres) by 2030.

Working with lawmakers, land managers, tribes, and private landowners, the “Colorado Pathways to 30-by-30” proposal utilizes executive orders, federal and state land manager policies, energy-development reforms, and private landowner protections.

In Colorado, 2019 outdoor recreation accounted for more than $12.2 billion in economic impact and employed almost 150,000 workers earning $6.4 billion — needless to say, Eagle and Summit Counties strongly benefited. As our increasingly popular local trails and wilderness attest, outdoor recreation is critical to recovery from COVID-19.

Two things you can do today: Contact Sen. Michael Bennet to thank him for his leadership advancing the Senate’s “Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature” and encourage him to step into the primary leadership position. Also urge Senator Bennet to work to pass the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act.

Contact Gov. Polis and ask him to continue his legacy as a conservation champion by committing Colorado to the 30-by-30 goal and improving state conservation funding and investments for lands, water, wildlife, and sustainable access.

Frances Hartogh


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