Western Governors have expressed concerns about the economic and ecologic impacts caused by invasive species on western landscapes and Pacific Islands to Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke and requested closer collaboration with the department.
The letter sent on June 22, 2017 cited the risks posed by quagga and zebra mussels, which have already infested water bodies across the West. In addition to increased collaboration, the Governors presented examples of specific actions being taken in Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
Western Governors’ Association Policy Resolution 2016-05, Combatting Invasive Species, was highlighted in the letter, signed by WGA Chair and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and WGA Vice Chair South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard. In the resolution, the Governors identify the rapid spread of invasive species as one of the nation’s “biggest environmental problems” and strongly “support coordinated prevention efforts and early detection and rapid response with multistate management and eradication actions to limit or eliminate new introductions and existing species expansion.”