Western Governors approve policy resolutions on ESA, energy, land exchanges, abandoned mines, wildfires, invasive species, National Parks

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Western Governors formally approved seven new policy resolutions at the Western Governors' Association 2016 Annual Meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on land exchanges, invasive species, wildfires, abandoned mines, species conservation, energy development, and National Parks. The resolutions include:

  • Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases: Federal land ownership in western states is prolific and often occurs interspersed with state, county, and private land, which complicates resource management. Western Governors call on Congress to simplify and expedite the federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes to resolve the checkerboard land tenure issue in the West. More
  • Combating Invasive Species: Western Governors support coordinated invasive species management including early detection and rapid response programs to ensure that actions result in more on-the-ground prevention, management and eradication. Governors also call for increased accountability and oversight of federal invasive species programs and support the creation of a west-wide species inventory, including the development of data management standards, formats and protocols. More
  • Wildland Fire Management and Resilient Landscapes: Western Governors call on Congress and the Administration to address issues that would mitigate wildfire danger in western states and promote healthy forests and rangelands. The Governors call upon Congress and the Administration to address the issue of “fire borrowing," to fully implement the FLAME Act, to accomplish the goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, and to take advantage of current authorities to expedite projects that would improve western ecosystems and reduce extreme wildfire danger. More
  • Cleaning Up Abandoned Mines in the West: Western Governors call on Congress to legally protect volunteer remediating parties, including local and state government agencies, which conduct clean up, from becoming legally responsible under section 301(a) and section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for any continuing discharges from the abandoned mine site after completion of a cleanup project. They also call on Congress and Federal agencies to consider legislative and administrative remedies to address potential Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) liabilities. More
  • Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act: Western Governors recognize that species conservation and habitat protection can be enhanced through working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of the Interior, and local governments and stakeholders. Governors also believe that statutory changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) should be developed in a fashion that results in broad bipartisan support and maintains the intent of the ESA to protect and recover imperiled species. Western Governors articulate seven broad goals they believe should drive improvements to species conservation and ESA. More
  • Energy and Transmission: Western Governors adopt the "10-Year Energy Vision for the West" as the energy policy for WGA. The Vision recognizes that not every state, territory, or flag island approaches energy use and development in the same way, but the governors remain committed to seeing states develop policies and use their energy endowments to the maximum benefit of their citizens, the region, and the nation. More
  • National Parks and the West: This is the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System, and Western Governors recognize the importance of National Parks in preserving unique natural treasures, providing recreational opportunities, and contributing to local and state economies throughout the United States. The Governors express their support of efforts to educate and encourage the next generation of park users, including the “Find Your Park” and “Every Kid in a Park” Initiatives. More

Western Governors enact new policy resolutions and amend existing resolutions on a bi-annual basis.  All of WGA’s current resolutions can be found on our Policies Page.

Learn more about the work of the Western Governors by reviewing our policy outreach and visiting the blog. You can also sign up for e-mail updates and follow the Western Governors' Association on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.