The work of the Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative, the central policy initiative of WGA Chair Hawaii Governor David Ige, will focus on the impacts that nuisance species, pests and pathogens have on ecosystems, forests, rangelands, watersheds, and infrastructure in the West. The Initiative will examine the role that biosecurity plays in addressing the risks posed by invasive species.
The Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, launched in 2017, leveraged the region’s best thinking to help bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in the West. The Initiative also explored how to create enhanced career opportunities for students, graduates and displaced workers to help build a more vibrant regional economy.
The Western Governors’ National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, launched in 2016, created a mechanism for states and land managers to share best practices and policy options for forest and rangeland management. The first-year’s work of the initiative developed 48 legislative and regulatory recommendations; in the following year 6 of the 18 legislative recommendations were enacted into law in addition to a solution for ‘fire-borrowing.’
The Western Governors’ Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, launched in 2015, used workshops and webinars to develop an extensive first-year report with six central themes for further exploration, as well as a multi-year work plan that has been continued by WGA to improve the efficacy of the Endangered Species Act.
The Western Governors’ Drought Forum of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, launched in 2014, fostered a regional dialogue in which states shared best practices on drought policy, preparedness and management. WGA hosted workshops and webinars and developed an online drought resource library that included case studies and drought tools.