On my first day 17 years ago, I had never worked for a conservation group. I was newly married, planning a family, and wanted to make sure the children I hoped for had the opportunity to experience the joy of the Great Outdoors that meant so much to me growing up.
Today, my kids are 14 and 11 years old. But recent droughts, storms, and wildfires have made it clear that we have a lot more work left to restore our climate, lakes, and communities. Our lakes have, on average, 13 fewer days of ice each winter. And 4 in 10 young people are hesitant to have children, fearing climate change impacts on their lives. We must not allow fear and diminished opportunities to be our legacy.
I believe that together we can play a powerful role in creating a new climate legacy for Minnesota. All of nature is interconnected—so as we create new systems and policies to address climate change, we can also solve our most pressing conservation problems. We can reduce waste, restore wildlife habitat, and clean up our lakes and drinking water. We can replace air pollution that most heavily impacts low income communities and communities of color with improved health and economic opportunity.
In addressing climate change, we see a strategic opportunity to deliver a legacy we can all be proud of. That is the future we are working toward—a future everyone in Minnesota deserves.
Take a moment and think about how many lives we can improve by fulfilling this vision. What would it mean to you, your children, your grandchildren? Then realize one thing: If we do it together, we can turn this vision into reality.