SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order on the environment and conservation during a news conference in Santa Fe Wednesday morning. The governor says the executive order will create what’s known as a “30 by 30” committee to evaluate conservation and environmental efforts of all New Mexico lands.
Gov. Lujan Grisham says that the committee will work to conserving 30% of all land in New Mexico by 2030. The initiative comes on the heels of a similar national effort by President Biden’s administration.
The order itself directs seven different state departments to “support and implement programs” aimed at conservation, protecting, and enhancing New Mexico’s “lands and natural environments.” As part of the order, the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Environment Department, Office of the State Engineer, Department of Agriculture, Indian Affairs, Game and Fish and Outdoor Recreation Division will meet quarterly to assess the state’s program toward the 30 by 30 goal.
“It’s driven by climate science and it’s driven by conservation biology,” said Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst of the New Mexico Environment, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. “Annually, we have to submit a report to the Governor, and it’s not just a report like, ‘Hey Gov, we met!’ — It’s going to be a report that identifies how we’re doing on the 30 by 30 metrics, what are the outcomes, what are we doing, what are we going to do, and how are we going to get there.”
Secretary Cottrell Propst identified several practical areas the “30 by 30” committee would address over the next decade. Some of those include protecting water quality against degradation, ensuring local economies and outdoor recreation opportunities, support migratory wildlife habitat and connectivity, expand outdoor access, addressing carbon sequestration, and meeting the state’s climate change objectives.
“We’ve already passed an Energy Transition Act that helps us with the electric sector, we’re adopting ambitious methane regulations for the oil and gas sector,” said Sec. Cottrell Propst. “Now, the 30 by 30 initiative will help us achieve what we need to do on the natural and working lands sector of our economy.”