As part of a global plan to stop the extinction of species and habitats, help solve the climate crisis, and filter out pollution, President Biden joined other world leaders in June 2021, to launch the ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative that seeks to preserve 30 percent of the United States’ lands and waters by 2030, known as 30 by 30. The initiative focuses on land conservation, which is a key component to protecting ecosystems and sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Through this, we can prevent the worsening effects of climate change and sustain plant and human life in the future.
While this ambitious goal might feel like an achievement only possible at the highest levels of political leadership, there are plenty of ways to support 30 by 30 at your local level, and AMC is here to give you the tools to do so.
1. Learn about 30 by 30 and how it can help protect our planet from the impacts of climate change.
30 by 30 follows science-based solutions to quell the effects of climate change by preserving the rich biodiversity of our lands and waters. To effectively communicate the value of this initiative, we first need to dive into the background on how and why 30 by 30 works.
Earth’s unique biodiversity, and the harmony of all plants, animals, and other organisms, work together to sustain life on our planet. With threat of climate change rapidly moving to a state of permanence, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity stresses the importance of 30 by 30 to preserve and restore this natural biodiversity. Through a comprehensive framework, this Convention has outlined ways to sustainably preserve lands and waters for future generations.
Other natural climate solutions that can help reduce carbon emissions includes a more sustainable forestry approach, like what AMC is doing in the Maine Woods. You can also read the National Climate Task Force’s ‘Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful’ report for more background on President Biden’s goals and how his administration plans to tackle this effort.
2. Understand the roles each community plays and how we can work together to achieve 30 by 30.
Communities across the nation bring their knowledge and expertise to 30 by 30. Take, for example, indigenous communities, who hold 50 percent of the land in the world, much of which has lower deforestation rates and a higher percentage of carbon storage. Communities with more sustainable practices can provide a model to preserve the natural ecosystems in our region.
It’s also important to understand how our local communities can support 30 by 30. Local land conservation can be achieved through state and town conservation efforts, land trusts, local non-profits, and more. Taking the time to learn about these local initiatives and how you can support them is a great step to helping reach the 30 by 30 goal.
3. Support AMC’s work to conserve the lands and waters in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
The mission of 30 by 30 aligns seamlessly with much of the work AMC already does. From climate research, to land conservation and responsible forestry, to advocacy for equal access to the outdoors, AMC is already on its way to helping conserve the vital resources in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and you can lend a hand in a number of ways. Here are some ways to get involved:
- Advocate for LWCF. AMC is a leader of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition, advocating for the use of LWCF to support projects in cities and provide more equitable access to greenspaces. LWCF allocates money collected each year to support land acquisition and outdoor recreation projects across the country. In 2020, the support and advocacy of the LWCF Coalition helped bring about the permanent reauthorization, with full and permanent funding, of the program. Now, it’s up to all of us to ensure that the funds are used as responsibly and effectively as possible. You can lend your voice today by reaching out to your local official and advocate for conservation funding in your state.
- Contribute to Community Science. AMC promotes science-based, natural climate solutions when it comes to conserving lands within its region. One way that you can directly contribute is by signing up for iNaturalist and participate in AMC’s scientific research by observing your recordings on your next hike.
- Donate to support AMC land conservation efforts. Protecting the lands and waters of our region isn’t just about preservation, but also stewarding the land to capture carbon and enhance habitat—two ways to fight climate change. AMC’s Maine Woods is a prime example of how we can do this, and you can directly support this work today by donating to AMC’s Pleasant River Headwaters Forest
4. Volunteer with AMC to promote the importance of 30 by 30.
AMC provides several avenues to support 30 by 30—for instance, consider signing up for a trail volunteer program to build and maintain essential trails throughout the region. AMC’s trail crews follow a specific design meant to alleviate wear and tear and protect the fragile ecosystems that thrive nearby.
Another option is to volunteer with your local chapter and talk with your local AMC community about 30 by 30. You can host specific events, like a tree plantings, workshops, or guest speakers, to garner interest and encourage others to learn more and advocate for 30 by 30. Reach out to your local chapter today and get started!
5. Act today and sign up for AMC’s Conservation Action Network.
The quickest way to support 30 by 30 is by signing up for AMC’s Conservation Action Network and using AMC’s simple forms to reach out to your local elected officials. You can advocate specifically for 30 by 30 support, or for related land conservation efforts like state funding and the Highlands Conservation Act.