Western Governors approve five new policy resolutions; elect new leadership

Western Governors formally approved five policy resolutions during their annual executive session at the end of WGA’s fiscal year (June 30). The resolutions represent the Governors’ collective policy on a National Minerals Policy; Radioactive Materials Management; Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases; Biosecurity and Invasive Species Management; and Recreation and Tourism on Public Lands.  

The Western Governors also elected Colorado Gov. Jared Polis as the new Chair of the Western Governors’ Association and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon as the new Vice Chair. Gov. Polis will announce his Chair Initiative at WGA’s Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on July 26-28.     

Policy Resolution 2022-08, National Minerals Policy

Western Governors support building on the 1970 Mining and Minerals Policy Act with legislation and policies that unlock our domestic mineral potential and ensure access to metals critical to U.S. economic and national security, in part by addressing the critical issue of permitting delays and the timely processing of mining permit applications. This updated resolution also incorporates language on the state-federal relationship during mine permitting processes, as well as recognition that an increased supply of domestically-produced minerals is essential to increasing the prevalence of alternative energy technologies. Read, download the resolution.

Policy Resolution 2022-09, Radioactive Materials Management

The resolution establishes Western Governors’ policy on radioactive materials management. Specifically, the resolution supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s safe and uneventful transportation of transuranic waste through western states to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant disposal site in New Mexico. It notes the need for ongoing compliance with federal radioactive waste transport safety requirements and early coordination and effective communication with state, tribal, and local governments. The resolution also affirms that no radioactive waste storage or disposal facility should be located within the geographic boundaries of a western state or U.S. territory without the written consent of the current Governor. Read, download the resolution.

Policy Resolution 2022-10, Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases

Federally owned lands are widespread throughout western states and are often interspersed with state, tribal, county, municipal, and private lands. This ownership pattern complicates various land management activities, including wildfire mitigation, habitat conservation, and watershed protection. In this resolution, Western Governors call on Congress to simplify and expedite federal-state land exchange, sale and conveyance processes to help address checkerboard land ownership challenges in the West. The resolution also encourages the Bureau of Land Management to fully leverage their authority to dispose of public land parcels for other public purposes. Read, download the resolution.

Policy Resolution 2022-11, Biosecurity and Invasive Species Management

This resolution addresses invasive species management and adds substantial new policy, including: a call to address the destructive relationship between invasive grasses and wildfires; mechanisms to enhance regional invasive species research, planning, and coordination; and recommendations to Congress and federal agencies on improving invasive species management on federal lands and supporting state-led management efforts. Read, download the resolution.

Policy Resolution 2022-12, Recreation and Tourism on Public Lands

This resolution articulates Western Governors’ policy on the management of recreation and tourism on public lands. Governors support public access and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting ecological, economic, and cultural resources. The resolution recommends actions the federal government should take to ensure that federal land management agencies have the resources needed to accommodate increased visitation, improve visitor experience, support local economies, and maintain public lands for multiple uses. Read, download the resolution.

Western Governors enact new policy resolutions and amend existing resolutions on a semiannual basis. All of WGA’s current resolutions can be found on our Resolutions Page.

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