The Western Governors’ Association has joined a wide array of organizations representing counties to advocate for the Department of the Interior (DOI) to use state boundaries in its reorganization plan. The entities, in their outreach to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, also seek continued collaboration in the process.
The letter sent Feb. 23 affirms that the signees "greatly appreciate the Department’s just revised map of proposed regional office boundaries, in which those boundaries more closely follow state lines." It also commends DOI for adding the goal of improved coordination among federal, state and local agencies.
The outreach emphasized that the preliminary plan to move "agency decision-makers closer to the lands they manage, would increase efficiency and decentralize decision-making, while also respecting state authority and improving the Department’s ability to consult and cooperate with state and local governments."
The letter concludes by thanking DOI for "clarification that the process for implementing any proposed unified boundaries will not begin until you finish discussions with Governors and state and local elected leaders" and that the entities "look forward to providing additional feedback, input and assistance on the Department’s reorganization."
The letter was signed by representatives of the Western Governors’ Association, National Association of Counties, Western Interstate Region of NACo, County Supervisors Association of Arizona, Rural County Representatives of California, Nevada Association of Counties, New Mexico Association of Counties, Association of Oregon Counties, South Dakota Association of County Commissioners, Utah Association of Counties, Washington State Association of Counties, and Wyoming County Commissioners Association.