30×30 – Our Open Space Health Checkup

This article originally appeared in SVC’s Summer 2024 Horizons printed newsletter.
Click here to view the newsletter.

Have you heard of 30X30 (“thirty by thirty”)? Both California and the US have set ambitious goals to protect 30% of our land by 2030 to preserve biodiversity, expand access to nature, and mitigate and build resilience to climate change. Global initiatives have adopted this framework and are working to create connected networks with a variety of habitat types.

So… how is the Sacramento region doing? Our analysis shows that in our six-county SACOG planning area, we have protected almost 350,000 acres that qualify for 30X30 – about 8.6%. Our region is at the center of a biodiversity hotspot known as the California Floristic Province and ranges from the rich wetlands of the Delta to the alpine crest of the Sierra Nevada with iconic vernal pools and grasslands, foothill oak woodlands, Valley Oak floodplains, and conifer forests in between. Our habitats harbor incredible biodiversity and deserve protection. To reach a regional 30X30 goal, we need to protect an additional 850,000 acres in the next six years. That is a heavy lift; but recognize that the Bay Area, which has been working to preserve open space for longer, has already reached 30% protection and is now targeting 50X50!

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