Gordon to host Western governors, U.S. cabinets, Nov. 6-8

Courtesy image

WYOMING – In July, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon took on the role of chair of the Western Governor’s Association for 2024, which brings with it an opportunity to focus regional attention on a chairman’s chosen initiative.

Gordon’s initiative is “Decarbonizing the West,” to examine decarbonization strategies including carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies; direct air capture and natural sequestration “to position western states at the forefront of innovation and reduce the effects of carbon emissions on the environment,” according to WGA.

The Western Governors Association consists of governors of states and U.S. territories west of the Mississippi River. Gov. Gordon has called the WGA’s annual winter meeting for Nov. 6-8 at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

The three-day convention will feature in-depth and public policy discussions. Early registration is Nov. 5 at the Four Seasons Library or at westgov.org. All events take place at Walk Festival Hall unless otherwise noted.

Honored guests

Joining Gordon will be vice chair New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

At these meetings, governors and policy experts explore regulatory, economic, technical and market opportunities brought up with a WGA chair’s chosen initiative.

Registration opens Nov. 6 at 8 a.m. at Walk Festival Hall’s upper patio. A welcome and opening remarks are at 1 p.m. followed by Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Budget and Management. At 2 p.m., a panel will discuss Decarbonizing the West, to develop and deploy carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies for energy and industrial sectors.

At 3 p.m., Secretary Haaland will highlight responsible energy development and how to collaborate and coordinate with western states. At 3:40 p.m., a panel will discuss recommendations of the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission’s September report for western states.

The Nov. 6 opening reception is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for governors, first spouses and all attendees in the Hotel Terra Ballroom.

Registration opens again on Nov. 7 at Walk Festival Hall’s Upper Patio. The keynote speaker from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. has yet to be announced.

The first topic is “A New Harvest: Innovation in Agriculture” to explore reducing costly inputs, advancing year-round crops and increasing access to local, sustainable foods. This will be followed by “Shared Visions, Enduring Legacy: Investments in our Parks System’s Future,” with discussions about how National Park Service and states can work together to address deferred maintenance and manage more visitors. All attendees are invited to “grab and go lunch” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hotel Terra Murie Ballroom foyer.

At 1 p.m., several one-hour breakout sessions are scheduled: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons, Housing and Rural Behavioral Health Care. At 2 p.m., four hours are set aside for networking sidebar meetings or recreation.

All attendees are invited to the Nov. 7 Dinner Reception in the Four Seasons Cottonwood Ballroom, 7 to 9 p.m.

On Nov. 8, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will speak at 9:15 a.m. about preparing all students for good jobs. At 9:55 a.m., “Connecting the West: Wildlife Migration Corridors” looks at including all types of agencies and landowners, with an as-yet unnamed keynote speaker from 10:40 to 11:10 a.m.

Next, Gov. Gordon will lead a conversation on infrastructure permitting, followed by the Governor’s Policy and Business Session. The meeting adjourns at 12:15 p.m.

For more about the Western Governors Association, to view the 2023 Winter Meeting agenda or register, visit https://westgov.org.