New Legislation Bolsters State Conservation Efforts, Sets Ambitious Land and Water Goal

J.M. Lesinski
A shot of winter weather bearing down on Fredonia, New York.Photo byPhoto by J.M. Lesinski

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a landmark piece of legislation that builds on New York state’s existing conservation goals and simultaneously aims to conserve roughly thirty percent of U.S. water and land by the year 2030.

"New Yorkers rely on our clean water for recreation, forests to provide wildlife habitats, and the outdoor spaces for jobs and adventures," Hochul stated of the legislation. "It's more important than ever to safeguard these resources and setting the goal to conserve 30 percent of public land by 2030 will ensure we're protecting our State for future generations."

The legislation, S.6191A/A.5390B, officially creates the conservation goal, which also requires the joint cooperation of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) in the development of strategies and new methodologies to best address it.

"I commend Governor Hochul in signing this bill into law, which complements the State's ongoing conservation efforts and aims to conserve 30 percent of the landscape by 2030, helping to protect globally significant habitats and achieve New York's climate objectives,” remarked New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos of the legislation. “As the state of New York joins with its national and international colleagues to advance this goal, DEC looks forward to working with the public and our partners to implement the critical work ahead and build upon our legacy of environmental protection for the benefit of future generations."

Core facets to be considered include biodiversity, clean water, and the preservation of wildlife and forests across New York state. The DEC and OPRHP will also work in conjunction with a number of local stakeholders throughout the process.

"The Nature Conservancy commends Governor Hochul and bill sponsors Assemblywoman Fahy, and Senator Kaminsky for their steadfast conservation leadership,” The Nature Conservancy in New York Executive Director Bill Ulfelder noted of the legislation. “As our natural resources face escalating threats such as climate change, development, and invasive pests and pathogens, this law will increase the pace and scale of protection, restoration, and conservation across New York. This new 30 by 30 goal will bolster collaborative work to conserve wildlife habitat, improve forest health, safeguard local family farms, expand access to parks and nature preserves, and protect our clean water. The Nature Conservancy is excited to partner with state leaders, Indigenous peoples, farmers, foresters, fishers, hunters and others to create a robust conservation plan for the benefit of all New Yorkers."

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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