Poppies in bloom at Castner Range
On Monday, December 20, the Biden administration published its first progress report from the America the Beautiful initiative detailing the exciting progress the Biden administration is making to protect and restore America’s natural beauty.
With this news, El Pasoans fighting for the conservation of Castner Range look to the future as its possible National Monument designation moves closer than ever.
America the Beautiful is an effort announced by the Biden administration to conserve 30% of the United States’ land and waters by 2030. Known as the 30×30 goal, the first ever national conservation pledge will help slow the loss of nature, ameliorate the impacts of climate change, and ensure all Americans — no matter their economic status, race, or ethnicity — have access to the natural world.
The first report outlines the important environmental actions of the Biden administration so far, as well as the steps being taken to achieve its conservation goals by unwinding Trump’s anti-conservation agenda. However, there is still much work to be done to meet President Biden’s conservation goals and stem the nature and biodiversity crises; with only three years left of Biden’s presidency, and only eight years until 2030, there must be greater action by the administration to conserve and permanently protect our lands.
“We are very excited by the efficacious steps of President Biden and his administration to conserve and restore America’s beautiful land,” says Janaé Reneaud Field, Executive Director of The Frontera Land Alliance and leader of the Castner Range Coalition. “In order to meet the bold goals the administration has set, it must immediately begin to work with local communities like ours to further conservation and permanently protect places at risk. Taking action to make Castner Range a National Monument would be a great next step on the road to 30×30 and we look forward to working with the president and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to make it so.”
For more than fifty-years, the local community has been working to protect Castner Range at the heart of El Paso. Establishing the proposed Castner Range National Monument would be the first of many efforts by the Biden administration to protect frontline communities and other marginalized populations who disproportionately bear the brunt of climate impacts through the protection of public lands.