The Western Governors’ Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative was launched in 2015 by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA), under the leadership of then-Chairman Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. The first year of the effort culminated in approval of the expansive WGA Policy Resolution Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act.
It directs WGA to develop a multi-year work plan to advance the objectives of the resolution. During the past year and per the Governors’ management directive, WGA worked to effect implementation of the resolution’s policies. While the Initiative has closely examined the Endangered Species Act in the first year of work plan implementation, the effort goes well beyond consideration of the Act.
Governors also seek to encourage voluntary conservation through early identification of sensitive species and establishment of institutional frameworks that encourage collaborative voluntary conservation, thus avoiding the need to list species in the first place.