The New York League of Conservation Voters congratulates Governor Kathy Hochul on being the first woman elected to the office of Governor of New York State! But that is not the only history Governor Hochul is making. Her strong support of the environment and bold leadership in the fight against climate change is shaping New York into a national example for other states to follow.
We hope Governor Hochul continues this bold leadership by calling S.6191-A / A.5390-B — the “30 X 30” bill — to her desk. This legislation aims to conserve 30% of New York’s lands and waters by the year 2030 and is part of a national and global effort to address the biodiversity crisis our planet now faces, which is exacerbated by our changing climate.
As we faces the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, it is critical that the state take action now and commit to being a part of the solution. The science is clear: conserving and restoring 30% of New York’s lands and waters is the bare minimum needed to ensure the sustainability of our planet, including providing the resources humans require to survive.
By signing this legislation into law, the pace and scale of conservation in our state will increase, allowing agencies and stakeholders, including local governments, not-for-profit conservation organizations, and other community interests, to employ myriad strategies to collaborate and conserve biodiversity. These could include actions like creating new parks and preserves, supporting conservation and restoration work on privately owned natural and working lands, and ensuring all New Yorkers have access to nature’s benefits. Significantly, the 30 x 30 bill provides the Department of Environmental Conservation with flexibility to determine how the goal will be achieved based on local conditions.
One example of a promising local strategy is the recently passed proposition 2 in the Town of Bethlehem, which allows the town to move forward with a $2,200,000 land purchase through their Farms & Forest Fund and additional funding of 9 parcels of land consisting of 307 acres.
By signing the “30 x 30” legislation into law, Governor Hochul’s leadership will extend far beyond New York’s borders. This goal will further regional, national, and international conservation goals, providing benefits to our economy, our environment and the health of our people.
We urge Governor Hochul to sign S. 6191-A / A. 5390-B into law.