Fishing and hunting groups have partnered to issue a statement on the 30 by 30 concept, an idea that is gaining momentum on federal, state and local levels.
The concept has gained traction internationally via a global treaty signed by virtually every country in the United Nations, with the exception of the United States, is expected to adopt the framework by 2021.
Earlier this month, California became the first state to adopt the concept when Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., signed an executive order along the same lines.
The American Sportfishing Association, which had initially opposed a bill passed in the state last summer because it worried language was too vague, appreciated the order’s heavy emphasis on collaboration among agencies and engaging with stakeholders while making recommendations for how to address challenges.
Now a coalition has been formed to help engage with those agencies and stakeholders, as well as politicians, in an effort to see that recreational outdoor interests are fairly weighed.
“In response to the rollout of the 30 by 30 initiative, this coalition has assembled to ensure the interests and contributions of sportsmen and sportswomen are part of the process,” according to an ASA statement. “Although the United States is not a party to the treaty, U.S. elected officials at the local, state and federal levels have announced efforts to establish or express support for the goals of the 30 by 30 Initiative in recent months.”
The group said it supports 30 by 30 policies that are not just aspirational but take into account existing protections and identify additional needs through “objective, science-driven, stakeholder-engaged process,” to determine the appropriate actions needed to meet the biodiversity goals.
“Furthermore, we support 30 by 30 policies that recognize hunting and fishing as well-managed and sustainable activities that are in harmony with other management goals,” said the coalition’s letter, which was signed by more than a dozen groups including ASA, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Safari Club International, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
A new website, called HuntFish3030.com, will seek to give hunters and anglers updates and information about the 30 by 30 initiatives nationwide, and a petition giving them an opportunity to weigh in on the policy proposals.
“America’s sportsmen and women play a central role in large scale conservation efforts nationwide,” said Safari Club International Foundation CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “From species management to critical conservation funding derived from license sales and excise taxes, they truly are the original conservationists. Ensuring they continue to have access to public lands and waters and a seat at the table when discussing the future of species biodiversity will allow wildlife populations and conservation efforts to thrive for generations to come.”
There is a well-established precedent in the United States on the compatibility of recreational fishing in conservation zones, and it is imperative that the 30 by 30 Initiative recognize the nexus between recreational fishing access and conservation, said CSP president Jeff Angers.