Newsom sets goal to conserve 30% of California land and coastal waters

Order seeks to restore wetlands and better manage forests as wildfires continue, having killed dozens and destroyed 9K homes and other structures

Gavin Newsom (Credit: Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Gavin Newsom (Credit: Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

As wildfires continue to burn across the state — having already killed more than two-dozen people and destroyed thousands of homes — Gov. Gavin Newsom is making another conservation push to address climate change.

This week, Newsom signed an executive order that would seek to protect 30 percent of California’s land and coastal waters over the next decade, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The order directed state agencies to pursue various actions to remove carbon from the atmosphere. That could include restoring wetlands, planting more trees, creating new parks and implementing new farming practices.

Additionally, it would seek to better manage forests, which could be crucial to mitigate wildfires in the state, the Times reported. This year, wildfires have burned a record four million acres statewide, and many large fires are still raging. Thirty-one people have died because of the wildfires, which have destroyed more than 9,000 homes, businesses and other structures, according to the report.

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The executive order makes California the first U.S. state to join 38 countries with similar conservation commitments, Newsom said.

Last month, Newsom directed state regulators to devise a ban on new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035, which he said would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent.

“Thirty by 30 by 2030 is the mandate,” Newsom said. “California, as the fifth-largest economy in the world, needs to flex its muscles… to advance that cause, not only as it relates to its global impacts but hopefully jumpstart similar efforts in other states across this country.” [LAT] Dennis Lynch