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Keeping up the momentum for 30×30 in both Capitols

Story by André Sanchez

During the month of April, André Sanchez, our Community Engagement and Conservation Policy Manager was hard at work participating in two different efforts of advocacy for California’s public lands and waters. His participation in the Protect California Day was organized by the Coalition and the America The Beautiful For All Coalition Fly-in.

The Power in Nature Coalition

The Power in Nature Coalition meets at California’s State Capitol

On April 19th, several voices that are part of the Power in Nature Coalition (PIN) met in Sacramento, California’s State Capitol. 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. To kick off the day, a rally was held at the steps of the Capitol building. Here, several coalition members and a few state legislators, including publicly voiced their support for the crucial goal of 30×30. Together, we urged state-elected leadership to allocate the appropriate funding towards meeting the goal during the period leading up to the May Revise of the state budget.

After this motivational and enthusiastic public display, over 50 members of the PIN migrated to the offices of various legislators to meet with them and their staff to discuss the importance of maintaining funding for 30×30-related programs. I had the pleasure of participating in a handful of meetings with state legislative offices representing various parts of Central California, including an office representing part of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, a landscape where  CalWild and several allies are actively working to expand protections. Overall, it was a day filled with displays of support for advancing California’s 30×30 commitment.

America The Beautiful For All Coalition

Over 150 organizations meet in Washington, D.C. for ATB-4-All

Following that effort at the State Capitol, I flew to Washington, D.C. the following week to advocate as part of the America The Beautiful For All Coalition (ATB-4-All). This nationwide coalition of 150 organizations was formed to support and ensure that the federal government meets its 30×30 goal, a goal set by President Biden in 2021 via executive order. In their approach, the ATB-4-All put together a policy agenda that focuses on two main goals: 1) Conserve 30×30 nationally; 2) Implement a Justice40 metric in meeting the 30×30 goal, meaning that 40% of the investments are made in communities of color and frontline communities that have had little to no previous conservation & equitable access to nature investments.

During the fly-in, I had the pleasure of meeting with several federal legislative offices. This included some offices that represent communities outside of California. This was not only to show a display of support from various states across the coalition and the over 100 participants of the D.C. fly-in but also to share the knowledge and action that CalWild is taking within California to meet the state-level 30×30 goal. In addition to meeting with legislative offices, I had the honor of meeting with leadership from the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Beyond meeting with the different government personnel, I had the privilege of building community with many members of the ATB-4-All. When working in a coalition towards a shared goal, community building is key. This mindset and the continued support and knowledge sharing from the ATB-4-All will help CalWild, and the different levels of government, meet the 30×30 goal for the benefit of all. I look forward to updating you all with more as we work towards that goal and the protection of our shared landscapes.