The MSHCP Will Help Meet California 30×30 Initiative
The California Natural Resources Agency has embarked on an ambitious goal of conserving 30 percent of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030. In April, the state released an implementation strategy to carry out this plan, which includes forging partnerships with agencies like the RCA and other organizations.
Fortunately, the western Riverside County is already in place to help meet the 30×30 goal. The RCA continues to assemble acreage to restore ecosystems and protect the 146 identified native animal and plant species, of which 34 are endangered or threatened. Protected lands will address climate change and promote biodiversity, public health, equity, and access to open land.
As a signatory to the MSHCP, the State of California committed to acquire 28,000 acres that will be counted towards the MSHCP reserve. To date, California has acquired 12,565 acres or 44% of its obligated acreage.
To help the State meet its obligation and its 30×30 goal, the RCA identified four properties totaling more than 1,000 acres near Corona, Lake Elsinore, Temescal Valley, and southwest Riverside County. The properties offer habitat to multiple species such as the endangered least Bell’s vireo, threatened Bell’s sparrow, the sensitive Plummer’s mariposa lily, mountain lion, and Stephens’ kangaroo rat.
Last month, RCA staff joined other agencies and organizations at the 30X30 Partnership Kick-Off. At this event, staff reiterated how the MSHCP accelerates land conservation and how the state can add to its obligated acreage by purchasing the identified lands.
If the state supports this land acquisition, the RCA will submit full applications next year as part of the 30×30 process. RCA has also been working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to secure a $6.7 million in Section 6 grant award and anticipated to hear good news soon!