The 30×30 Partnership 2023 Gathering
The 30×30 Partnership 2023 Gathering was an inspiring two-day event, hosted by the California Natural Resource Agency and the California Biodiversity Network. The goal of Executive Order N-82-20, also known as 30×30, is to conserve 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030. With the help and dedication of partners and volunteers throughout the state, there are three main goals: conserve and restore biodiversity, expand access to nature, and mitigate and build resilience to climate change.
The conference began with a tribal blessing and introduction from William Madrigal, Jr. from the Cahuilla Band of Indians. While enrolled in a doctorate degree program at the University of California, Riverside, Professor Madrigal also teaches three out of the four courses of the Cahuilla language at the University. During his speech, he shared the hardships of his relatives being denied admission to colleges for being Native American. One of his relatives decided to forge his own path, continuing his education by receiving a degree in Civil Engineering and eventually helping to build the University of California Riverside, which resides on his ancestral lands. Professor Madrigal said, “Knowing that my ancestors helped build the school on our native land and now I am teaching our language to the future generations. And get this, I am teaching our native language in a foreign language category.”
As the day continued, we learned from conservation leaders, indigenous land stewards, environmental educators, scientists, and local community members from Southern California. Notably, Beth Pratt was one of the presenters who stood out to our team. She has dedicated her career to wildlife conservation and specifically to a very famous mountain lion named P22. P22 quickly gained popularity amongst L.A. locals and captivated the importance of humans living symbiotically with wildlife and their habitat.
What made P-22 especially unique is that he somehow made his way into Griffith Park, the eastern flank of the Santa Monica Mountains, from the western side, crossing two major Los Angeles freeways, the 405 and 101, a feat other lions have died trying to do. His safe passage into and life in the park is a testament to the lack of wild spaces remaining in Los Angeles, however it demonstrated how these wild places are usually not built for wild animals to thrive. As the human population grows, we are occupying increasingly more space which in return encroaches on habitat for other species. Due to urban sprawl and thereby habitat loss, inbreeding, and vehicle/animal collisions, populations of mountain lions began to decline. After more than a decade, the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife crossing was built in hopes of mitigating these issues. The Wildlife Crossing aims to provide a safe place for animals to cross the busy 405 freeway, preserving species diversity in the Santa Monica Mountains. Since the construction of the bridge, scientists have noted an increase of mountain lions and other notable species in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Beth stated, “Find your crazy, build your movement, story tell, and help people connect with those causes.” Here at the RCD of Greater San Diego County, we aim to protect, conserve, and restore our beautiful County. We hope to inspire our community to do the same, and to provide programs and resources such as the Home Assessment Program and Defensible Space Assistance Program, to help you meet these goals. We encourage you to check out San Diego’s local 30×30 initiatives and contribute to the effort!
Resources and to learn more about these topics please visit:
San Diego 30×30 Efforts: https://www.sandiegonature.org/
Beth Pratt: https://www.bethpratt.com/about
The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife crossing: https://dailybruin.com/2022/07/17/worlds-largest-wildlife-crossing-begins-construction-in-los-angeles