Thursday, January 24, 2019

Western Governors and U.S. Department of Agriculture sign MOU for Collaborative Land Management

Hawai'i Governor David Ige and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue sign the MOU. Photo: WGA

On December 12, 2018, the Western Governors' Association (WGA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to "establish a framework to allow the Forest Service and WGA to work collaboratively to accomplish mutual goals, further common interests, and effectively respond to the increasing suite of challenges facing western landscapes." This MOU was signed at the WGA 2018 Winter Meeting following Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's keynote. The MOU was signed by Secretary Perdue, WGA Chair and Governor of Hawaiʻi David Ige, and WGA Vice Chair and Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum.

“This is an important step in cooperatively addressing land management challenges,” said Governor Ige. “We recognize that no one agency or level of government has the capacity to deal with all of these risks alone. This MOU puts us on a path to working closely on these serious matters.”

“Governors possess primary decision-making authority for management of state resources, including many resources on federal lands. Being a ‘good neighbor’ is an essential component in USDA’s work, which is why this MOU is so important,” said Secretary Perdue. “USDA’s Forest Service will work shoulder-to-shoulder with WGA to co-manage risks and identify land management priorities. As authentic collaborators, the states and federal government will improve service to the public by creating more efficient, effective, and long-lasting policy.”

Read the full agreement here.

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