Executive order directs California to conserve land, coasts

By Alexei Koseff, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2020

“Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on October 7 setting a target to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030 — joining dozens of nations in a global pact to preserve biodiversity and prevent species loss.

“California would need to conserve another 8.4 million acres over the next decade to meet the goal Newsom set.

“Newsom’s order also directs his administration to take steps to streamline approval of land restoration projects, protect native plants and animals from invasive species, and reinvigorate the population of pollinating insects in California.

“Most significantly, several agencies will develop policies to capture more carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the state’s natural and working lands such as forests, rangeland, farms, wetlands and coasts. These strategies, intended to help California reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, could include planting cover crops, restoring wetlands, managing forests more actively to reduce wildfire risk, and planting trees and creating parks in urban areas.

“ ‘It’s not about a scarcity mindset. It’s not about taking something away,’ Governor Newsom said. ‘It’s about an inclusive, abundant mindset.’”

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