Montana Gov. Steve Bullock urged attendees at the first workshop of the Western Governors' National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative to "take a hard look at collaboration. What makes it succeed? Why does it fail? How do the federal land managers embrace it? It's a discussion that will set the stage and tone for more hard work to follow."
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, who joined Gov. Bullock in addressing the workshop in Missoula, Mont., expressed optimism about the collaborative work of the initiative. "I have high expectations if we meet these difficult challenges together and focus on the right challenges. The more we trust in that system, the more we can get done.
WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury summed up the wide-ranging impact of the initiative in his opening remarks: "Public lands management ... sounds kind of dry and academic and bureaucratic. But what it connotes is rich and interesting and wildly important. Because when we talk land management, we're talking about nearly every activity taken on western lands."
Ogsbury also announced that the next workshop for the Chairman's Initiative will be hosted by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on Oct. 20-21 in Boise, Idaho.
"The work we do on these issues and the successes we’ve had are because people with very different ideologies have come together, project by project, and dollar by dollar," said Gov. Bullock, emphasizing the importance of collaboration. "Our natural resources are a foundation of our quality of life, and how we manage them must transcend party politics."
The three addresses opened the two-day workshop (Sept. 20-21), the first of five hosted by the Western Governors' Association across the West for Gov. Bullock's central policy initiative as Chair of WGA. The workshops will play a central role in collecting information to position Western Governors to recommend and promote congressional efforts to improve forest management authorities.
Watch videos of all workshop sessions by using the links below:
- Introductory Remarks by Gov. Bullock, Chief Tidwell: James D. Ogsbury, WGA Executive Director; Governor Steve Bullock, Montana; Tom Tidwell, Chief, US Forest Service.
- Roundtable: The Montana Experience: Tim Baker, Montana Governor’s Office; Bob Harrington, Montana State Forester, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC); Chas Vincent, Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition; Leanne Marten, Regional Forester, USFS Northern Region; Tom France, Senior Director, Western Wildlife Conservation, National Wildlife Federation.
- Roundtable: What is 'Successful' Forest and Range Management? Mark Peck, Lincoln County Commissioner, Montana; Bill Imbergamo, Executive Director, Federal Forest Resource Coalition; Denny Iverson, Blackfoot Challenge; Caroline Byrd, Executive Director, Greater Yellowstone Coalition; Buddy Green, Wyoming Deputy State Director, US Bureau of Land Management.
- Roundtable: Fire Funding Reform: Kelsey Delaney, Council of Western State Foresters; Cecilia Clavet, Senior Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy; Ralph Rau, Regional Fire and Aviation Director, USFS-Region 1; Chuck Roady, General Manager, F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber.
- Roundtable: 2014 Farm Bill Tools – Status and Potential: Rich Lane, Willis Enterprises; Mo Bookwalter, DNRC-USFS Liaison; Tera Little, Farm Bill ID Team Leader, USFS; Rebecca Barnard, National Forestry Programs Manager, National Wild Turkey Federation.
- Roundtable: Lessons Learned/Elements of Successful Collaboration: Tim Love, Montana Forest Collaborative Network; Sarah Lundstrum, National Park Conservation Association; Cassandra Moseley, Director, Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon; Tony Colter, Plant Manager, Sun Mountain Lumber Company; Jennifer Hensiek, Missoula District Ranger, Lolo National Forest, USFS.
- Day 1 Recap: John Tubbs, Director, Montana DNRC
- Case Study: Westwide Collaborative Veg Project: Matt Arno, Local Government Forest Advisor, Montana DNRC; Ryan Domsalla, West Fork District Ranger, Bitterroot National Forest, USFS; Dyrk Krueger, Enhanced Forest Management, Inc.; Wayne Hedman, Bitterroot Restoration Committee.
- Case Study: Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition: Mary Mitsos, National Forest Foundation; Russ Vaagen, Vice President, Vaagen Bros Lumber Co.; Ron Gray, Wood Fuel Manager, Avista Utilities; Mike Petersen, Lands Council.
- Case Study: Upper South Platte Restoration Partnership: Pike National Forest, Colorado: Tom Fry, Western Conservation Director, American Forest Foundation; Jonas Feinstein, State Conservation Forester, Natural Resources Conservation Service; Joseph Hansen, Conservation Forester, Jefferson Conservation District; Carol Ekarius, Executive Director, Coalition for the Upper South Platte.
- Discussion: Tools/Solutions to Increase Pace and Scale of Restoration: Bob Harrington, DNRC; Christine Dawe, Acting Director of Forest Management, USFS; Gordy Sanders, Resource Manager, Pyramid Mountain Lumber; Dave Schulz, Madison County Commissioner, Montana.
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