HELENA, Mont. – The Western Governors Association formally seated Governor Steve Bullock as their new Chairman at the association’s annual meeting today. Governor Bullock takes over the Chairmanship from Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming and will hold the position for one year.
"We’ve made great strides in Montana with our ‘Forests in Focus’ initiative," said Bullock. "Other western states are trying different approaches, and I look forward to hearing about them from my colleagues and other stakeholders, and charting a course for improving the health of our forests and public lands."
Nine Western Governors, led by outgoing WGA Chairman Gov. Matt Mead, attended the meeting in Jackson. They included Steve Bullock (Montana, WGA Vice Chair), Doug Ducey (Arizona), C.L. "Butch" Otter (Idaho), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota), Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), and Gary R. Herbert (Utah).
After taking over as Chairman, Governor Bullock announced his Chair’s initiative would center on improving forest and rangeland management. Governor Bullock developed his “Forests in Focus” program from the authorities of the 2014 Farm Bill to nominate 5 million acres of national system forest lands for designation as Priority Landscapes to accelerate forest restoration in Montana.
“I have appreciated Governor Bullock’s leadership as vice chairman of the Western Governors’ Association and chairman of our resolutions committee,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “Governor Bullock embodies the bipartisan spirit of the Western Governors’ Association. I witnessed his strength first-hand on our trip to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress on the Endangered Species Act, public lands management and other important Western issues. It has been my privilege to serve alongside him. I look forward to his leadership as chairman and his Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.”
"We applaud Montana Governor Bullock's leadership which has proven to bring people together in a bipartisan manner," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. "He has the necessary vision that will move the association forward in a positive and productive way."
“The Western Governors’ Association is a unique body focused on preserving the best of our western values, culture, and way of life,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. “I know that Governor Bullock will continue the tradition of working with his colleagues to develop bipartisan policy solutions and promote best practices for western states to consider and share. I look forward to working with him as the incoming Chairman of the WGA.”
The Western Governors' Association represents the Governors of 19 Western states and 3 U.S.-flag islands. The association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States.