WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury advanced Western Governors’ policy priorities on public land management at the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Roundtable on Issues Related to Public Lands in the Western United States.
"Western states are the public lands states," Ogsbury said in opening remarks, noting that 46% of the land in the 11 westernmost contiguous states is federally owned, while 61% of Alaska is under federal ownership.
Ogsbury reminded hearing attendees that an underlying theme of the Governors’ policy work in public lands is the promotion and defense of state authority and improvements to the state-federal relationship. “Our biggest frustration is a failure for some agencies to fully embrace the concept that states should be engaged as full and equal partners.”
And Ogsbury said that Governors' are poised to collaborate. “We’re anxious to be a resource to the Committee and to federal agencies. States have great regulatory competencies."
The March 7, 2019 roundtable, moderated by Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Joe Manchin, also included representatives from the Salt River Project, The Nature Conservancy, Barrick Gold North America, and the state of Alaska.
In addition to participation in the discussion, Ogsbury submitted WGA materials reflecting Western Governors’ policy on a wide range of public lands issues over which the Committee has jurisdiction.