Outdoor Retailer - April 2021 - 20

Feature .01

A map of Maine can fool you.

20 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ April 2021

where that is, and what habitat issues that
solves, " says Jessica Ottney Mahar, policy and
strategy director for The Nature Conservancy
(TNC) in New York. " At the national level,
we're also thinking about, again, what has been
protected-and what does that mean? What
counts as protection? Then we're also looking
at freshwater systems and oceans. What does
it mean to protect fresh water? I think part of
what's important about this policy is the conversation it's stimulating. It's an important
moment for the conservation movement. "

A GLOBAL DEAL FOR NATURE

The idea behind 30x30 is rooted in science.
In a science policy review published in Science
Advances in 2019 called " A Global Deal for
Nature, " a team of wildlife biologists, ecologists, and sustainability and biodiversity
advocates analyzed how restoring land and
preserving ecosystems could help us meet
the Paris Agreement goal of stopping warming at 1.5° Celsius. " Climate models show that
we are approaching a tipping point; if current
trends in habitat conversion and emissions
do not peak by 2030, then it will become im-

possible to remain below 1.5°C, " they wrote in
the report's introduction. The Global Deal for
Nature targets 30% of the Earth to be formally
protected and an additional 20% designated
as climate stabilization areas, by 2030, to stay
below 1.5°C.
For outdoorists, the 30x30 goal has obvious benefits: In addition to slowing warming
and biodiversity loss by preserving carbonholding habitats, 30x30 also means more land
will be preserved for outdoor recreation. " For
us, I think the pandemic really has brought
to light why we need to support efforts like
this, " Kordick says. " We've clearly seen a huge
outdoor-participation boom this year, and our
industry is dependent on going outside. We
love seeing people get outdoors, and we want
to make sure there are places to go. "

PUSHING FOR 30X30 POLICY

Conveniently for proponents of preservation,
" 30x30 " is also a simple, smart way to talk
about conservation, says Ryan Billingham,
communications director for Wisconsin
Conservation Voters. " It just frames it so
well-'30x30.' It's catchy, " he says " Obviously

Acadia National
Park is part of
Maine's 20.4%
conserved land. The
state has work to do
to reach 30x30.

Previous spread: Lauren Danilek, This page: Andrew Kornylak

All of the green conjures images of deep forest
and wetlands, the vast North Woods stretching off toward Canada-the sort of robust carbon sink we need more of right now. But, rather than letting those verdant dreams run wild,
the Maine Climate Council decided to quantify
them and determined that only 20.4% of the
state's land is actually conserved. Maine's neighbors, which combined are about the same size
as Maine, have set aside more land, the Climate
Council found; all together, New Hampshire,
Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and
Rhode Island have preserved more acres and
a larger percentage of land, 27.2%, according
to a 2019 report.
" We have a lot of private land in the state of
Maine, " says Jenny Kordick, executive director of Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB). " We
have national parks and state parks that count
toward that, and we have a lot of land trusts,
but there's a lot of private land. "
With the push to preserve 30% of land and
water by 2030, these numbers matter. MOB is
one of many organizations around the world
backing the 30x30 initiative, which seeks to
protect 30% of land and water to fight both
biodiversity loss and climate change. Since the
basic concept behind 30x30 has specific targets but can be interpreted broadly, individuals and organizations are trying to figure out
exactly what it will mean to apply 30x30 at the
local, state, and federal level in the U.S.
Some nonprofits have tapped into 30x30 as
a useful rubric for talking about conservation.
Others are putting their staffers with geographic information system (GIS) expertise
to work figuring out the gritty details, looking
at carbon stock, biodiversity hot spots, private
land versus public, and, of course, defining all
of it. A Defenders of Wildlife analysis found
that under some definitions of " protected, "
Alaska is the only state exceeding 30%, but
including some " multiuse " land in the fold
brought the total up to 12 states (Alaska,
Hawaii, and the states of the Western U.S.).
Federal mandates can do a lot to get some
states to 30%, but others will fall far short of
the mark without state and local initiatives.
" Our scientists in New York specifically are
taking a look at what's protected in New York,


https://www.nature.org/en-us/ https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/4/eaaw2869 https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/4/eaaw2869 https://maineoutdoorbrands.com/ https://conservationvoters.org/ https://conservationvoters.org/

Outdoor Retailer - April 2021

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