News Release

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

A broad coalition of New Mexico advocates today applauded Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for announcing an executive order to protect 30% of the state’s land by 2030. The order—titled “Protecting New Mexico’s Lands, Watersheds, Wildlife, and Natural Heritage”—is a critical step to conserving the state’s treasured landscapes and biodiversity for generations to come, while bolstering our economy, expanding access to the outdoors, and increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing.

Nearly 80% of New Mexicans support conserving 30% of land and waters by 2030. Click here for a fact sheet on what the executive order will do.

“As New Mexicans, we know that our hunting, fishing, and outdoor heritage and way of life require healthy, intact natural landscapes and clean, flowing rivers. This science-based executive order will help set our state on a path to achieve the landscape scale protections we know we need by 2030 in order to preserve our wild places, and legacy of tradition for our communities and future generations to enjoy.” —Ángel Peña, executive director, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project

"A New Mexico 30x30 executive order is the start of a conservation conversation that will allow local communities, much like mine, to start the discussions about how best we can achieve that goal of preserving and protecting 30% of our lands and waters here in the state. And we start that conversation by thinking about what's in our own backyard." —Theresa Pasqual, executive director, Acoma Historic Preservation Office

“All New Mexicans deserve equal access to our state's abundant and beautiful outdoor places. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, our local public lands and open spaces have proven to be invaluable for the health of our communities across the state. This 30x30 Executive Order issued by Governor Lujan Grisham will help ensure equitable access to our public lands and open spaces, address the need for climate resiliency, and provide sustainable opportunities to boost our local economies.” —Demis Foster, executive director, Conservation Voters New Mexico

“Our connection to the land and water runs deep and is a major part of our collective identity. Protecting these natural resources before they are lost forever is a high priority for New Mexico’s Pueblo communities, and I’m glad to see Governor Lujan Grisham shares that same concern for the future of our planet. While there is still work to do, today’s 30x30 announcement is a good first step toward leaving behind a cleaner world for our children.” —Brophy Toledo, member of the Jemez Pueblo

“Governor Lujan Grisham’s order demonstrates a commitment not just to the conservation of our natural resources, but to preserving New Mexico’s rich cultural history as well. Revitalizing and funding New Mexico’s state conservation programs provides a path toward a more diverse economy while staying true to who we are and where we come from. I’m excited to work with the governor to protect our public and natural working lands.” —Representative Kristina Ortez

“Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 30×30 goal is a critical call to action for the state and its partners to identify and protect the natural areas that are unique to New Mexico and of vital importance to indigenous communities, the state's growing outdoor recreation and tourism economy, and to our way of life. The executive order is also crucial in the state’s efforts to achieve its goals to address climate change and to expand access to the outdoors for all. This goal aligns New Mexico with the international effort to protect 30% of lands and waters globally on the same time scale.—Gabe Vasquez, Las Cruces City Councilor

“Healthy lands and waters are crucial to the survival of our communities, culture, and traditions in New Mexico. Local farmers and the acequia community have an intimate connection to the land and our watersheds. We know that protecting those watersheds and the lands our rivers flow from is essential for our businesses and the food we provide. This executive order from Governor Lujan Grisham will help ensure our working lands and traditional New Mexican ways of living endure for generations to come.” —Ralph Vigil, chairman of the New Mexico Acequia Commission 

“Our world is in a crisis. The loss of habitat is causing the extinction of numerous species of life. In addition this loss of habitat is contributing to climate change which threatens all life on our planet including humans. The goal of setting aside 30% of our land and waters by the year 2030 will help prevent this ecological disaster. With states taking action to protect these areas it will hopefully move the Federal government to action saving our planet for future generations. The time to act is now!” —Kent Salazar, chairman of the Board, National Wildlife Federation

"Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks applauds the 30 x 30 Executive Order from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. 30 x 30 represents the bold thinking we need to solve our climate crisis. Our protected public lands have always been a place of community, now we know that their protection is critical to ensuring that they continue to be a place of community for generations to come. We look forward to working with community members and the Governor's office in the development of a vision and plan that will prioritize the role of protected public lands in our amazing state and create space for the community to lead in this critical work." —Patrick Nolan, executive director, Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

"Protecting 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 is absolutely essential to mitigating our urgent climate crisis, which has devastating and costly impacts on communities in New Mexico and across the Interior West. 30x30 is an ambitious but achievable goal, and we can get it done if leaders are willing to step up and embrace this effort. Governor Lujan Grisham deserves praise for her executive order establishing a 30x30 conservation goal and a plan for reaching it. We need to see this kind of leadership in all states to protect the natural places that sustain our economies and quality of life, and ensure a healthy planet for generations to come." —Gwen Lachelt, executive director, Western Leaders Network

“By setting a 30x30 goal, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is fostering a united approach in tackling the climate crises that will protect our nation’s lands and waters, improve access to outdoor spaces, and ensure that our nature-based traditions are passed on to future generations. New Mexicans are deeply connected to the landscape, and traditions that many enjoy like fishing, hunting, ranching, and wood gathering depend on the protection of, and access to our public lands and waters. HECHO applauds Governor Lujan Grisham’s executive order to protect New Mexico’s lands, watersheds, wildlife, and natural heritage, and looks forward to supporting the Governor’s efforts to protect 30% of New Mexico’s land by 2030.” —Camilla Simon, Executive Director, Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO)

“30x30 will be beneficial for watershed health in the face of climate change.” —Joe Zupan, executive director, Amigos Bravos

“Conserving our public lands and wild places is necessary to combat the climate crisis that is getting more dire every year. As the planet continues warming and we experience record droughts, it is clear we must act so there is something left for future generations. Governor Lujan Grisham’s commitment to the 30x30 resolution is a positive first step in the right direction and will allow us to begin addressing the challenges in front of us collectively.” —Mark Allison, executive director, New Mexico Wild

“The land of Enchantment deserves a permanent commitment to stewardship with long-term promises for enduring conservation policies that ensure the future health of our lands and waters, fish and wildlife resources, and their natural character through science-based management, which is consistent with the 30x30 objective to protect biodiversity. We have an obligation to the generations that follow us to protect our traditions, pass on our unique heritage and enhance opportunities for hunting, fishing, gathering wild food, and maintain cultural practices that are a way of life for many New Mexicans.” —Chuck Tripp, chairman, New Mexico Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

“New Mexico’s public lands, ecological beauty, hunting and fishing heritage are unique and must be protected. The Governor's Executive Order sets our state on the path to achieve the landscape scale protections that scientists say we must put in place in order to preserve what we love most about our state.” —Jesse Deubel, executive director, New Mexico Wildlife Federation

"Audubon is supportive of the 30x30 campaign at the federal level and is excited about New Mexico's commitment to complementing it at the state level. The program will be critical for restoring the iconic landscapes of the West, which are precious to human users and a matter of life and death for birds in decline like the Lesser Prairie Chicken in Southeast New Mexico and the Pinyon Jay across the north. As we adapt to climate change, 30x30 can help support families, communities, and ecosystems by creating jobs, restoring landscapes, and connecting people with nature and wildlife."—Judy Calman, New Mexico director of policy, Audubon Southwest

"The Santa Fe Conservation Trust commends Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her commitment to protecting 30% of New Mexico’s lands and waters by 2030. Researchers have found that we’re losing habitat twice as fast on unprotected private lands as we are on public lands, which is a big deal when you realize that a huge percentage of our species live in areas outside of where we have a lot of federally protected public lands. The Santa Fe Conservation Trust is at work to implement the 30 x 30 vision in northern New Mexico to bring private landowners into the process. We look forward to working with the Governor's office in the development of a vision and plan that will prioritize the role of protected private lands.” —Sarah Noss, executive director, Santa Fe Conservation Trust

“Scientists say we must protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 in order to preserve the wildlife, wild places, and way of life we cherish in New Mexico. This executive order from Governor Lujan Grisham is a crucial first step towards achieving that goal. Reaching this goal will not only prevent biodiversity loss, it will also support New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy, expand access to the outdoors for all New Mexicans, and boost our state’s efforts to address climate change. We applaud Governor Lujan Grisham for her leadership and look forward to continued partnership to make this plan a reality.” —Andre Miller, western lands policy analyst, Western Resource Advocates

"All New Mexicans deserve access and opportunities to enjoy our state's unique natural beauty. There is widespread support among New Mexicans to protect our lands and waters by 2030, and Gov. Lujan Grisham's executive order will help ensure equitable access to our public lands and open spaces.” —Miya King-Flaherty, our wild new mexico organizing representative, Sierra Club

“As New Mexico moves forward with this initiative, connectivity and migration corridors are fundamental to achieving the conservation of wildlife, and of paramount importance when considering lands and conservation actions contributing to 30x30 goals for terrestrial, and freshwater systems.” —John Cornell, southwest field manager, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

"We commend Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her commitment to protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030. This effort is urgently needed to address the climate and extinction crises, ensure that our state's treasured wild places like the Gila can be enjoyed by future generations of New Mexicans, while also building thriving local outdoor recreation economies." —Allyson Siwik, executive director, Gila Resources Information Project

“New Mexico’s spiritual leaders and faith communities thank Governor Lujan Grisham for her commitment to responsible stewardship and care of the earth. We are grateful to the Governor for her bold vision and leadership in protecting New Mexico’s land, water and wildlife. This Executive Order ensures that our state is on the right track to conserve and protect New Mexico’s way of life now and in the future.” —Reverend Andrew Black, EarthKeepers 360

“The New Mexico Wild Sheep Foundation supports the 30x30 Initiative. If developed, funded and managed properly, the 30x30 Initiative will allow us to scientifically address climate uncertainty and other factors which already threaten our New Mexico land and water resources, which are essential for healthy and productive wildlife and fisheries habitat.” —Bryan Bartlett, president, New Mexico Wild Sheep Foundation

“As someone who has lived and worked on the land his whole life, I am encouraged that New Mexico is taking more of a leadership role in conservation. Farmers, ranchers, and private landowners are some of America’s most effective conservationists, and we have a lot we can contribute to this effort. I applaud the governor for laying out this ambitious and necessary goal, and look forward to doing my part to ensure we protect New Mexico’s working lands for the next generation." —Don Schreiber, rancher, Rio Arriba County

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