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Opinion: Want more national parks? Why Biden’s plan is worth considering

More parks and green spaces have many benefits Biden’s 30 by 30 initiative can protect the natural land we are rapidly losing and keep our nature natural

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The Virgin River flows through rocks and green trees in Zion National Park

The Virgin River flows through through Zion National Park on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Biden’s 30 x 30 land initiative strives to preserve more land as national parks and monuments, protecting green spaces.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

This is in response to an article in the May 13, 2022, issue related to the 30 by 30 initiative.

Utah is currently experiencing many effects from global warming. Our air quality is at times the worst in the country. Studies show the impact is greatest on children. Pollution is shortening our lives by two to three years. The drought here and in other areas jeopardizes our food supply. Fire season is longer, more devastating and expensive. Limited snowpack not only affects our water supply, but a large part of Utah’s economy and tourist industry. Thousands of species face extinction. There are things we can do to mitigate the damage.

President Joe Biden’s 30 by 30 initiative is one step. The more lands we preserve in their natural state, the more carbon will be sequestered, and fossil fuels stay in the ground. Wildlife will thrive because migratory corridors will be established, offering more opportunities for them to adapt and find mates. And many of our watersheds will be protected. 

In recent polls, 73% of Utahns supported creating new national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and Tribal protected lands.

The 30 by 30 initiative is not a public land grab by radical Democrats. It is a scientifically guided attempt to maintain green spaces, in large areas and small. It could be a new local park or a national park or monument and the lands will be accessible to people. According to a 2019 report by the Center for American Progress, we are losing a football field of natural space every 30 seconds.

We know these natural spaces increase well-being, have a cooling affect, and help clean the air. It is necessary to get our leaders on board. For the future health of our country and our children, we need them to support the 30 by 30 initiative.

Patricia Becnel