The 2021 Annual Meeting convened Western Governors and members of the Administration for public discussions on the future of energy, shared stewardship, land management, environmental policy, and the economic recovery from COVID-19. 

The 16 Governors who participated in the June 30-July 1 virtual meeting included: WGA Chair and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Vice Chair and Idaho Gov. Brad Little, and Governors Mike Dunleavy (Alaska), Doug Ducey (Arizona), Gavin Newsom (California), Jared Polis (Colorado), Lou Guerrero (Guam), David Ige (Hawaii), Steve Sisolak (Nevada), Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico), Doug Burgum (North Dakota), Ralph Torres (Northern Mariana Islands), Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma), Kristi Noem (South Dakota), Spencer Cox (Utah), Mark Gordon (Wyoming). Watch their welcome videos.

DAY ONE: WGA Chair and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown launched the meeting by releasing the Special Report of the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative (Watch her keynote). That was followed by roundtable discussions with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, along with remarks from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan

DAY TWO: The Governors engaged in penetrating conversation with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and also heard a Canada Day keynote from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. The meeting concluded with the election of Gov. Little as WGA Chair; the Governor discussed his Chair Initiative for the coming year, “Working Lands, Working Communities.” In addition, Gov. Polis was elected WGA Vice Chair. 

RESOLUTIONS: Western Governors formally approved policy resolutions on: Disaster Preparedness and ResponseTransportation Infrastructure in the Western United StatesWater Resource Management in the WestCleaning Up Abandoned Hardrock Mines in the West; and Water Quality in the West. 

CELEBRATE THE WEST: The Western Governors’ Foundation announced Isabella Tarantino from New Mexico, Shaw Y. Hu from Arizona, and Alain Soltys-Gray from Alaska as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the sixth annual Celebrate the West regional art competition. Nearly 400 works of art from the 19 WGA member states, as well as Guam, were entered in the competition. View a slideshow of all the winning works, as well as a complete list of winners on the Celebrate the West 2021 page.

LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE: The Western Governors’ Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Western Governors’ Association, launched the Western Governors’ Leadership Institute, which will select one young adult to represent each western state and territory in WGA’s footprint at the Annual Meeting, where they will participate in the Institute’s leadership development forum. More information about the Institute and how to apply may be found here and by watching our video.

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