This story is a staff report from The Paper.

On Wednesday, the New Mexico 30 x 30 Advisory Committee announces a public Request for Information (RFI) to gather broad input on the conservation activities most important to New Mexicans. The RFI solicits ideas for a “uniquely New Mexico” vision for conservation.

In August 2021 Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Executive Order 2021-052 (E.O.), Protecting New Mexico’s Lands, Watersheds, Wildlife, and Natural Heritage. The E.O. established the 30 by 30 Advisory Committee, comprised of seven state agencies and the State Land Office.

Agencies have been directed to individually review and utilize existing programs, funding, and authorities to reach the ambitious conservation targets of conserving at least 30 percent of all lands in New Mexico by 2030, with an additional 20 percent of lands designated as climate stabilization areas. Benefits include supporting the economy, sustaining traditional ways of life, providing drinking water, ensuring food security, preserving biodiversity, and providing recreational opportunities.

“We welcome public input that will help us identify conserved lands and climate stabilization areas,” said Committee Chair and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst. “This year, one of the most important tasks before the 30 by 30 Committee is to develop statewide definitions that will be used to measure progress and help identify conservation opportunities that make the most sense for New Mexico.”

Following the RFI, the Committee will release draft definitions and hold a separate public comment period before proposing final definitions in its Annual Report, to be released in December.

Anyone wishing to respond to the RFI should fill out a survey using the following link: https://arcg.is/1TqynW0. The deadline is November 25.