Recent Important Gubernatorial Activity
In the last couple of weeks, Governor Ducey co-signed two important letters with other governors. (Please consider sending him a note of thanks.)
1. Governor Ducey co-signed a letter with Texas Governor Greg Abbot, dated June 10, 2021, requesting border assistance from the other states. The two governors wrote to the governors of the other 48 states requesting they send emergency law enforcement assistance to compensate for the current Democrat Administration’s refusal to secure the border.
2. Governor Ducey co-signed a letter of April 21, 2021 from 15 governors to Joe Biden, expressing “deep concerns” and asking 12 questions about Executive Order 14008 (EO), Section 216, a.k.a. the “30X30 agenda,” a.k.a. “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful.” The EO states a goal of “conserving” (without definition) 30 percent of lands across the United States by the year 2030. The governors opine in their letter that since Executive Order 14008 states only 12 percent of U.S. lands are presently “conserved,” then the level of conservation Executive Order 14008 implies is USGS status 1 or 2 as described below.
The USGS keeps a Geographic Information System (GIS) formatted database called, “Protected Areas Database” (PAD). GIS software allows geographical data, for example, an area such as a Park, Wilderness, etc. to be mapped with selectable overlying “layers” of information such as streets and roads or land ownership. The PAD utilizes four status layers to identify “conserved” lands, as follow: (source: USGS-PAD)
- Status 1: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a natural state within which disturbance events (of natural type, frequency, intensity, and legacy) are allowed to proceed without interference or are mimicked through management. Examples of Status 1: National Parks, Wilderness Areas
- Status 2: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover and a mandated management plan in operation to maintain a primarily natural state, but which may receive uses or management practices that degrade the quality of existing natural communities, including suppression of natural disturbance. Examples of Status 2: National Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, The Nature Conservancy Preserves
- Status 3: An area having permanent protection from conversion of natural land cover for the majority of the area, but subject to extractive uses of either a broad, low-intensity type (e.g., logging, Off Highway Vehicle recreation) or localized intense type (e.g., mining). It also confers protection to federally listed endangered and threatened species throughout the area. Examples of Status 3: National Forests, BLM Lands, State Forests, some State Parks
- Status 4: There are no known public or private institutional mandates or legally recognized easements or deed restrictions held by the managing entity to prevent conversion of natural habitat types to anthropogenic habitat types. The area generally allows conversion to unnatural land cover throughout or management intent is unknown. Examples of Status 4: Unknown areas, private lands, developed or agriculture areas