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Engaging Leadership for National Monuments

For the second year in a row, the month of April has become a busy month filled with meetings with elected officials. CalWild’s André Sanchez was hard at work participating in two different efforts of advocacy for California’s public lands and waters in the U.S. and California Capitols. Below is a short narrative written by André discussing his participation in the “Monumental Call-To-Action” fly-in event in Washington D.C and the Protect California Day organized by the Power In Nature [coalition] in Sacramento.

 

National monument advocates from across the country participated in a press conference on the morning of Tuesday April 16th outside of the U.S. Capitol building at what is referred to as the “House Triangle.  Gathered by the Monuments for All (Coalition), the group called upon the Biden Administration to expand, designate, and protect several national monuments, including sacred lands for Tribes in different parts of the country such as the expansion of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, which would protect Molok Luyuk (pronounced “Ma.lok/ Lue.yoke”, meaning “Condor Ridge” in the Patwin language). Joined by several Tribal representatives and elected officials, including California’s Senator Alex Padilla, Congressmembers Dr. Raul Ruiz, John Garamendi, Judy Chu, the group presented the signatures of more than 800,000 people who are calling on President Biden to use his power under the Antiquities Act to permanently protect the several national monuments being advocated for across the country (That’s André above, on the left).

On April 23rd, several voices that are part of Power In Nature (PIN) gathered at the State Capitol to meet with elected officials. For those unfamiliar, the PIN is comprised of over 100 community groups, environmental and conservation organizations, land trusts, indigenous organizations and tribal members dedicated to advancing California’s 30×30 (pronounced 30 by 30) commitment. The primary focus of the PIN meetings was to meet with state Assemblymembers and Senators offices to advocate for consistent funding in the 2024-25 budget and future funding through an equitable climate bond that would allow 30×30 related work to keep moving forward. Additionally, the PIN was asking offices to support a few state bills that are important to 30×30 goals including two bills that would protect wetlands throughout the state.

These opportunities to gather and advocate would not be possible without support from the community. I look forward to updating you all with more as we work towards the protection of our shared landscapes.

PHOTOS: CHRIS FERENZI 2024