DOI Listening Session – 30×30 Initiative
January 21, 2022
FINAL ORAL STATEMENT
Good morning, my name is Russell Galipeau and I represent the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks. I am speaking from the ancestral lands of the Chumash.
Our national parks along with congressionally designated Wilderness Areas should serve as core conservation areas, or the base that anchors the 30 x 30 initiative.
We ask and need the Initiative and Atlas to do FOUR major things:
FIRST, MAKE it clear where core conservation areas are located and their values.
- The ATLAS should adopt the IUCN Protected Areas categories and crosswalk them with U.S. designations.
- Treat National Parks and Wilderness areas as core areas.
SECOND, INVENTORY landscape systems across the nation, conduct a gap analysis of ecosystems and identify underrepresented terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity hot spots.
- The ATLAS needs to display maps of species, habitats, migration routes, ecosystems and their services regardless of land ownership.
- The ATLAS needs to identify and map what species and ecosystems that are at risk and what threatens their existence.
- Future development pressures and federally permitted activities that threaten any of the above need to be identified and mapped.
THIRD, The taskforce needs to propose conservation priorities and reflect them in the ATLAS
- Look for opportunities to establish cross-boundary designated Wilderness on federal lands.
- Use the Atlas to identify and establish connectivity between conservation units to prevent fragmentation and improve the horizontal and vertical movement of species.
LASTLY, there needs to be ACCOUNTABILITY through monitoring and evaluation.
- This is needed to detect how ecosystems are changing over time and how this initiative is meeting said goals.
- Increase the NPS Inventory and Monitoring program by $16M.
- Assure that core areas have a monitoring program in place to measure change.
The bottom-line is that we need the ATLAS to inform decision-makers and the public as to the places where specific actions will deliver the greatest return on investment. We believe that our National Parks are core conservation areas for the nation and exemplify our legacy for future generations. The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks will submit more detailed written comments.