Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Coeur d’Alene to host Western Governors' meeting in July

by The Western News
| June 28, 2022 7:00 AM

The Western Governors' Association annual meeting will be held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on July 26-28.

The three-day event, hosted by Idaho Governor and WGA Chair Brad Little, will feature Governors Jared Polis (Colorado), Doug Ducey (Arizona), Greg Gianforte (Montana), Doug Burgum (North Dakota), Spencer Cox (Utah) and Mark Gordon (Wyoming) in cross-cutting dialogue about the most important issues facing the region.

The governors will be joined by the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, who will provide keynote addresses.

The three-day event will also convene regional experts to discuss wildfire, cybersecurity, supply chain issues and the housing crisis. Check out the full agenda and register here.

Those who want to attend, can register at

The three-day event will also feature roundtable discussions between the Governors and regional experts about addressing wildfire, cybersecurity, supply chain issues and the housing crisis.

The Western Governors' Association represents the Governors of the 22 westernmost states and territories. 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 U.S.

Here is the schedule:

July 26

1-1:30 p.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Jim Ogsbury, WGA Executive Director, and The Honorable Brad Little, Governor of Idaho

2:15-3 p.m.: Roundtable I: Sensing the Wildfire Threat

Early detection of wildfire is key to assessing fire behavior and understanding where and how to effectively respond to a wildfire threat. This panel will examine cutting-edge resources states and local governments are using to stay one step ahead of wildfire events and examine barriers to the adoption of these technologies across western landscapes.

4-4:45 p.m.: Roundtable II: Utility Cybersecurity Threats

Protecting critical utilities like water and electricity systems is a daunting challenge, as foreign actors and criminal groups increase their cyber-attack and ransomware activities. This panel will examine the scope of the threat and steps states can take to protect vital systems.

6-7 p.m.: Opening Reception

July 27

9:15-10 a.m.: Keynote: The Honorable Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Veterans have increased rates of homelessness, mental and behavioral health issues, and medical needs from combat service. Secretary McDonough will discuss how states and the federal government can work together to more effectively serve and honor America’s veterans.

10-10:45 a.m.: Roundtable III: Protecting the Links

Nearly every aspect of our lives depends on a functional supply chain, and every link on that chain is integral to keeping Americans fed, warm, working and mobile. The panel will discuss supply chain challenges and needs.

11-11:45 a.m.: Roundtable IV: Restoring Burned Landscapes

Burned lands dramatically affect watershed quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and recreation and property values. Restoring these lands, however, can be difficult and is often not a high priority for land managers. The panel will look at how state and federal agencies can encourage additional investment in restoration activities on burned areas.

7:30-10 p.m: Dinner Reception at the Hagadone Event Center

July 28

9:15-10 a.m.: Keynote: The Honorable Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation

Infrastructure has been a significant priority of the Administration, and passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorizes unprecedented funding to repair and modernize U.S. highways, bridges and transit systems. Secretary Buttigieg will discuss both the significant opportunities and the challenges associated with improving the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

10-10:45 a.m.: Roundtable V: The Housing Crunch

Every western state is facing the challenge of increased costs and decreased availability of housing as new residents arrive. This panel will look at some of the challenges facing western communities and the innovative solutions being developed to address housing shortages.

11-11:45 a.m.: Roundtable VI: Western Governors’ Leadership Institute

The WGA 2022 Annual Meeting launched an important Western Governors’ Foundation effort to recognize and reward the effective exercise of leadership by young adults across the West, and to promote and encourage its future development. This panel will examine the inaugural Leadership Forum and recognize its participants.

12-12:15 p.m.: Closing remarks

The Honorable Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado