WGA Chairman and Nevada Gov. Brian SandovalDrought, transportation, new energy storage options, and sage-grouse conservation were just some of the topics addressed by 10 Western Governors during the Western Governors' Association 2015 Annual Meeting June 24-26 in Incline Village, Nevada.
Western Governors attending the meeting, hosted by WGA Chairman and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, included: Bill Walker (Alaska), Doug Ducey (Arizona), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Eddie Calvo (Guam), C.L. "Butch" Otter (Idaho), Steve Bullock (Montana), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota), Gary Herbert (Utah), and Matt Mead (Wyoming).
Annual Meeting Day 1
Secretary JewellWGA Chairman Gov. Brian Sandoval opened the Annual Meeting by releasing the first-year report on his Chairman's Initiative, the Western Governors' Drought Forum, followed by a discussion with drought experts who also offered a report on upcoming conditions.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell delivered a keynote address and then participated in a spirited Q&A with the governors, which touched on sage-grouse conservation. That concluded the day's formal sessions before the Governors participated in a press conference. Day 1 Recap
Annual Meeting Day 2
The Governors elected Wyoming Gov. Mead as their incoming WGA Chairman on the Governors Otter, left, and Hickenlooper share a laugh after the Sand Harbor State Park event.second day of the meeting and approved five policy resolutions on transportation, enhanced oil recovery, agriculture, water resource management and minerals policy.
They also heard a keynote address by Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and Governor of Utah, and engaged with transportation experts on pressing regional issues.
Later, the meeting moved to nearby Sand Harbor State Park, where Nevada and California officials discussed how collaboration supported environmental and economic success at Lake Tahoe. Day 2 Recap
Annual Meeting Day 3
Gov. Matt MeadThe final day opened with a discussion of new, utility-scale energy storage featuring representatives from Tesla, Abengoa Solar, Arizona Public Service and NV Energy.
Incoming WGA Chairman Gov. Mead concluded the meeting with a speech about his Chairman's Initiative for the coming year: an examination of the Endangered Species Act.
Gov. Mead said that his focus resulted from the impact that ESA has had on the West and reflects the fact that western states have shown leadership in species conservation and their habitats.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock will serve as WGA Vice Chairman in the coming year. Day 3 Recap
Attendees at the 2015 WGA Annual Meeting, from left: Bill Walker (Alaska), Butch Otter (Idaho), Doug Ducey (Arizona), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Gary Herbert (Utah), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota), Steve Bullock (Montana), Eddie Calvo (Guam), Matt Mead (Wyoming).
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