Statement by Open Space Institute president and CEO Kim Elliman:
Albany, NY (January 27, 2020)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) enthusiastically welcomes President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s executive order providing a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. This plan and his commitment to take on this, the greatest environmental crisis of our lifetime, is critically important and long overdue.
Specifically, we applaud President Biden’s plan to conserve 30 percent of U.S. land and waters by the year 2030 to leverage natural climate solutions, protect biodiversity, and slow extinction rates.
This “30x30” pledge acknowledges that strategic land conservation is a critical tool and a natural solution to combating the negative impacts of climate change, making land trusts and land conservation organizations uniquely situated to help the new administration accomplish these visionary goals. With the U.S. losing a football field of land to development every 30 seconds, newly gained full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a key conservation tool in helping to achieve the promise of President Biden’s “30x30” plan.
We look forward to supporting President Biden’s land and water conservation goals by continuing our 40-year history of protecting forests that store and capture atmospheric carbon, land that supplies clean water, and outdoor spaces that bolster the physical and mental well-being of communities.
About the Open Space Institute
The Open Space Institute protects land for clean water, public enjoyment, wildlife habitat, and to fight climate change and mitigate its effects. Founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York State, OSI has grown and partnered in the protection of 2.3 million acres in the eastern United States and southern Canada.