By Chris Morrill, Executive Director
One of my favorite elements of being the Executive Director at CalWild is how incredible the staff is. They are able to accomplish a lot. They also play an important role in California’s conservation community. We aren’t the biggest or best-known group out there; therefore, with so many opportunities to apply our time and skills, it’s essential that we prioritize and focus on the areas CalWild can meaningfully impact and where success is both tangible and possible.
This month, I wanted to share with you our programmatic priorities for 2022. Not surprisingly they are all land protection efforts, which is what we do best.
- Permanently protect hundreds of thousands of acres in California
This one has been at the top for longer than we hoped. CalWild’s campaigns to protect public lands in the northwest, Central Coast, and San Gabriel Mountains have been running for many years now. The good news is each year we get closer and closer. We continue to build local support, respond to inquiries from our Congressional champions, and will push on any door we can to get these bills across the finish line. Keep your eyes out at the end of 2022 when we are hoping for one final push to get the bills to the President’s desk.
- Implementation of 30×30
At the end of 2020, California set the first state-level goal of protecting 30% of the land and water by 2030. We were so excited to see that leadership and ambition from our home state. For all of 2021, CalWild engaged in the state’s process to build the 30×30 plan. The Pathways to 30×30 document was released recently and in 2022, we will prioritize our engagement with the state to protect California’s millions of acres of wild public lands to achieve this laudatory goal.
- Launching National Monument Campaigns
CalWild spent recent years combating bad projects and policies that threatened California’s wild places. We are in a new space now. This coming year we will see the public launch of multiple national monument campaigns. CalWild has been closely involved in supporting a number of local efforts to get new national monuments. After a year or more of preparation, a number of these campaigns will be launching publicly. Our experiences since the 1990s show that getting national monuments established is a much faster process than is passing legislation. CalWild has put a lot of time and effort into our legislative campaigns which provide permanent protection, but it will be nice to see some conservation initiatives that have the potential for wins in the near term.
Thank you to all of you for supporting these efforts. Your continuing support allows us to take on more, but always know the work we do is scrutinized to ensure it provides the greatest opportunity for protection for the most important wild places in the state.
Please let me know your thoughts, comments, and questions by emailing me at email@example.com.