Why our Colorado mountain town supports Biden’s 30×30 public land goals


Because we love our public land and want to protect it for future generations, the Frisco City Council recently unanimously passed a resolution stating that we can support President Biden, U.S. agencies, members of Congress, state and local officials and others in support of science-based locally led conservation efforts helping the country achieve the goal of protecting 30% of the land and our country’s waters by 2030, commonly referred to as 30 × 30.

These efforts are part of the America the Beautiful government’s vision of how the United States can work together to conserve and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife that support and sustain our country, and create jobs and strengthen the economy.

Melissa Sherburne

Last month, the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts published an important peer-reviewed report that emphasized the importance of viewing biodiversity loss and climate crises as a problem rather than addressing each one individually. The report’s authors warn: If we fail to take this approach and instead try to resolve these issues in isolation, we do so at our own risk.

I am very encouraged that the 30×30 goal included in America the Beautiful’s vision is doing exactly what scientists recommend by recognizing that we must work together to address loss of nature and climate change. If we can restore entire ecosystems, they will in turn quickly and cheaply absorb the carbon emissions that are causing climate change and devastating the planet.

30 × 30 can ensure that we maintain a healthy biodiversity network and protect our natural areas while not only helping to offset climate change, but also protecting and restoring more public land, which is fundamental to our mountain lifestyles, health and economies is communities like Frisco.

Local governments know the importance of setting achievable and forward-looking goals. Achievable goals can have small differences in the short term and larger effects in the long term.

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Making decisions about finite resources like land and water and climate change can be overwhelming, but they are so important because they have lasting effects. We need to make sure that we are stewards for future generations.

I am proud that the city of Frisco is committed to the preservation of our land and our waters. In 2020, we worked with Colorado Open Lands to establish a permanent conservation easement on 10.88 acres in the Meadow Creek Wetlands and also restore 0.41 acres of wetlands. This effort arose out of the need to restore and maintain a new wetland area as we lost wetlands during the 2019 Frisco Bay Marina Big Dig project.

Due to this maintenance easement, the land is protected from building, so that community members and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy this land for relaxation and rejuvenation into the future.

With Frisco surrounded by public land, we must continue to work in partnership with community partners, the US Forest Service, Summit County, and Denver Water to protect natural resources and wildlife habitats, promote human recreation, and reduce risk Mitigate forest fires.

I want our city to get involved in more regional conservation efforts like Summit Safe Passages, which are committed to creating safer roads for wildlife and people by building wildlife crossing structures over roads to reduce wildlife collisions, ensure healthy wildlife populations, and To save tax money.

We all have the choice of either making efforts to combat biodiversity loss and climate change, or watching from the sidelines. I am grateful that President Biden chose the former by formulating an inclusive and locally led conservation vision, America the Beautiful, that encompasses the 30×30 goal – a way for us to work together and produce results for the conservation of natural resources national level.

We and future generations will benefit when local, state, tribal governments and local communities like Frisco can work together more frequently to achieve science-based voluntary landscape protection.

Melissa Sherburne is a councilor for the City of Frisco, a board member for High Country Conservation Center, and a public land planning and consultant with a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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