Western Governors seek a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to prioritize conservation actions for at-risk species and preserve the integrity of working landscapes, in part by developing the Western Governors’ Task Force on Collaborative Conservation.
"A truly collaborative and proactive approach to species conservation efforts in the West is long overdue," asserts the outreach to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Oct. 10, 2018.
The Governors expressed their appreciation for a September Memorandum to DOI Heads of Bureaus and Offices and a July Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizing the authority and expertise of states in managing wildlife within their borders.
"In addition to reliance on state agency expertise and knowledge in fish and wildlife management, collaboration with states is a necessary component of any successful species conservation effort," additionally notes the letter signed by WGA Chair and Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Vice Chair and South Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Through the development of the Task Force, Western Governors "propose to partner with the Service and other DOI agencies to fulfill the directive" in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 asking the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service "to look to its other programs and its partners to fund and implement conservation activities on the ground."
The letter concludes: "Governors are ready, willing and able to engage with DOI to achieve mutually-identified conservation goals developed in concert with private landowners, local governments, and multiple stakeholders."