The greater sage-grouse, a bird species listed as “warranted but precluded” on the Federal Endangered Species List, is found throughout the interior West. Eleven of the Western Governors’ Association’s (WGA) 19 member states provide habitat to the sage-grouse – habitat that often intersects with lands ideal for energy development and rangeland agriculture. If the sage-grouse is fully listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the economic impacts to states and communities that have sage-grouse habitat could be severe.
The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy) is a bold new national approach to the increasingly complex reality of wildland fire and land management, and fire response. The Cohesive Strategy is being developed in response to a mandate under the Federal Land Assistance and Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME Act). The Cohesive Strategy was developed in response to growing concern over mounting annual costs of fighting wildfires, devastating wildland fire losses to communities, and concern about overall landscape health.
The risk analysis in this report summarizes three alternatives in relation to the three Cohesive Strategy goals and social, economic, and ecological conditions. This Phase III effort builds on the Phase II Western Regional Assessment and Strategy Report. The National Science Analysis Team has assembled a library of data and tools that can be used to inform decision-makers in making land management choices. Additional information can be found at forestsandrangelands.gov.
As new demands stretch the West's limited water resources, cities, industry, environmentalists and other water users increasingly turn to voluntary, market-based water transfers. The Western Governors passed a policy in 2011 specifically recognizing the potential benefits of water transfers as well as concerns about the impacts of shifting water uses on rural communities.
This report identifies leading practices for transferring water and highlights successful case studies from around the West. Water Transfers in the West helps states and practitioners share tools and identify the specific steps that states can consider in order to improve water transfer outcomes for agriculture, urban needs, and the environment.
WGA and five industry groups -- Outdoor Industry Association; Motorcycle Industry Council; Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association; Specialty Vehicle Institute of America; and National Marine Manufacturers Association – combined forces to produce this economic snapshot of the sales of outdoor recreation equipment and services in the West and the nation. The report highlights jobs supported by the industry and tax revenues from related sales.
The study marks the first time the non-motorized and motorized recreation industries have joined forces to provide a complete picture of the economic impact and importance of outdoor recreation for the economy.
People in the west are spending less time enjoying the region's great outdoor spaces. We have additional leisure time options not available a couple generations ago – gaming devices, 24 hour cable TV, movies on demand on mobile devices. Eight-eighteen year olds spend more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week with some form of electronic media.
The Get Out West Advisory Group offers nine recommendations on actions Governors could take and roles they can play to help connect kids and young families to the West outdoor places and heritage.
The Western U.S. is blessed with world class tourism and outdoor recreation assets. These assets generate a significant number of jobs and income for Western states (between 6-22% of total income depending on the state).
The Get Out West Advisory Group offers ten recommendations on actions Governors could take and roles they can play to help industry create jobs and revenues in the West.
Successfully managing the West's recreation assets is a key factor in facilitating positive outdoor recreation experiences for the region's citizens and tourists and for local economic development and job creation in communities around these places.
The recreation managers interviewed and members of the Get Out West's Advisory Group recommend Western Governors work together to ensure that the West's unparalleled recreation assets continue to provide wonder and enjoyment – and the foundation for a powerful economic sector – for generations to come.
The Get Out West! initiative interviewed 24 recreation managers from a range of jurisdictions and geographic areas to identify their recommendations for how to continue to provide world-class recreation opportunities despite these changing conditions. Interviewees were selected by an advisory group for having demonstrated especially innovative responses to recreation management challenges. this report highlights these innovative approaches to managing recreation assets.
The Western Governors' Association commissioned this report to explore ways to reduce costs to the region's electricity consumers for integrating wind and solar, identify barriers to adopting these measures and recommend possible state actions.
Prepared by Regulatory Assistance Project for Western Governors' Association. The preparation of this report was financed in part by funds provided by The Energy Foundation. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability supported the participation of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Click here for a copy of the -- Executive Summary
Click here for a copy of the -- Full Report