Western Governors approve policy resolutions on State-Federal Relationship, utilizing state data, wild horse and burros, forest and rangeland management, species conservation

Western Governors have formally approved five policy resolutions on: Strengthening the State-Federal Relationship, Utilizing State Data in Federal Decision Making, Wild Horse and Burro Management, National Forest and Rangeland Management, and Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act.

WGA Policy Resolution 2021-01, Strengthening the State-Federal Relationship: Improving state-federal communication and coordination is among the Western Governors’ highest priorities.  In the absence of a Constitutional delegation of authority to the federal government, state authority should be presumed sovereign.  Each executive department and agency should have a clear and accountable process to provide states with early, meaningful and substantive input in the development of federal regulatory policies.  Where authority has been delegated by the federal government to the states, states should be granted the maximum administrative discretion possible and should be treated as partners and co-regulators. Read, download the resolution

WGA Policy Resolution 2021-02, Utilizing State Data in Federal Decision Making: Western Governors recognize the crucial role that state data can serve to inform the decision-making processes of federal agencies.  The Governors urge the federal government to consult with states and state agencies as partners – rather than ordinary stakeholders – in the development and implementation of policies, programs, and strategies to more effectively and consistently incorporate state data into federal decision making.  Federal agencies must recognize the existence and limitations of state privacy and data stewardship laws, regulations, and policies.  They must also work with states to develop strategies to encourage effective state-federal data sharing while appropriately protecting data under state law. Read, download the resolution

WGA Policy Resolution 2021-03, National Forest and Rangeland Management: This resolution renews and expands Governors’ policy positions on a variety of national forest and rangeland management issues.  It supports sound forest and rangeland management policies that maintain and promote environmental, economic, and social balance and sustainability for rural communities.  It includes Governors’ policies to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health and resilience, and incorporates WGA policy on public lands grazing. The resolution articulates the Governors’ response to the reduction or removal of domestic livestock from federal lands and expresses support for sound, science-based management decisions for federal lands. Read, download the resolution

WGA Policy Resolution 2021-04, Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act: This resolution updates the Governors’ policy positions on species management and conservation issues.  The new policy incorporates language from WGA Policy Resolution 2019-08, Wildlife Migration Corridors and Habitat.  The resolution expresses the Governors’ support for increased voluntary and proactive management efforts and use of best available science, while acknowledging the variability in state approaches to wildlife and habitat conservation. Read, download the resolution

WGA Policy Resolution 2021-05, Wild Horse and Burro Management: This renewed resolution notes the increasing demand on federal agencies to adequately manage wild horse and burro populations and offers support for thoughtful and science-based herd management decisions. The resolution includes updated estimates of the growing number of wild horses and burros on BLM- and USFS-managed rangelands in the West, and it recognizes certain federal, state and local plans as sensible alternatives to current wild horse and burro management practices. Read, download the resolution

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

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