Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Draft 30 X 30 conservation strategy released for public review, comments accepted until Aug. 30

Map of protected land in New York State

On July 1, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) released their draft “strategies and methodology” document detailing how they plan to protect 30% of the state’s lands and inland waters by 2030. According to DEC estimates, about 22% has already been protected, leaving about 3 million more acres across New York State to be protected in order to reach the goal.

The DEC will host two virtual public meetings on the report, one on Thursday, July 25 from 1 to 3 p.m., and one on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. The DEC is accepting public comment on the draft report until Aug. 30.

Read the draft report, submit comments, and learn how to participate in the public meetings here: https://dec.ny.gov/nature/open-space/30×30.

Key components of the draft 30×30 Methodology and Strategies document include:

  • Defining what will be counted towards New York’s 30×30 goal including both permanent and persistent protections;
  • Creating a baseline of what is already protected to determine the number of acres needed to reach 30 percent of New York State’s lands and waters;
  • Identifying priority conservation areas based on ecological significance and biodiversity;
  • Pinpointing strategies for providing support to conservation partners to protect lands and waters, including enhancing existing grant and other programs that protect land, developing new grant and other programs to protect land, and legislative initiatives that protect land; and
  • Establishing methods for supporting sustainable land management practices and promoting climate resilience.

Background on the 30 x 30 law:

In 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the “30 by 30” law that establishes a conservation goal for New York State of protecting 30% of the State’s “lands and inland waters” by the year 2030. The 30 by 30 law commits New York to do its part to reach a similar national goal established by President Joe Biden in 2021, to protect 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, according to a Protect the Adirondacks press release.

At the end of 2023, Protect the Adirondacks released a report “20% in 2023: An Assessment of the New York State 30 by 30 Act” that assessed the level of protected lands and waters in New York State in 2023, the types of lands protected, what constitutes protected lands, and the amount of land that needs to be protected by 2030 to reach the goal of protecting 30% of New York State’s lands and waters as set out in the 30 by 30 Act. The report found that over 3.1 million acres needed to be protected.

View the report here: https://www.protectadks.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Protect-the-Adirondacks-30-by-30-Report-web.pdf

Photo at top: Map of currently protected lands held in fee or protected by a conservation easement by state and local governments, and land trusts in the New York Protected Areas Database. 30×30 considers additional forms of protection; the above map represents some but not all protected areas of New York State. For example coastal waters are not depicted here. Map courtesy of NYS DEC.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

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