Governor Mark Gordon’s Invasive Species Initiative delivered a series of recommendations in its final report that could help Wyoming be a national leader on combating invasive species.
The roughly forty-page report addresses a wide array of topics surrounding terrestrial invasive plant species and includes recommendations for the Governor to consider in the coming years. They include developing assessments, improving collaboration with federal partners, and exploring revisions to the funding model for invasive species management in the state.
“Completion of this report has been challenged on multiple fronts” Governor Gordon said. “The teams were hindered by multiple large storms last year, making meeting in-person nearly impossible. Then in early 2020, COVID-19 impacted the ability for the teams to meet again. Nevertheless, the group delivered a product that can serve as a launchpad for future discussions and I am extremely appreciative of their efforts during these challenging times”
The report emerged from a series of collaborative meetings between experts in the field of terrestrial invasive plants. The group was divided into policy and technical teams that included local, state and federal government representatives, private citizens representing industry and agricultural groups, as well as scientists and practitioners.
Policy Team members included Steve Meadows (chair), Wyatt Agar, Brian Boner, Jacque Buchanan, Josh Coursey, Jessica Crowder, John Elliot, Jack Engstrom, Colleen Faber, Jamie Flitner, Slade Franklin, Rob Hendry, Mark Hogan, Matt Hoobler, Astrid Martinez and Tom Walters.
The Technical Team included Justin Derner (chair), Bob Budd, Ben Bump, Todd Caltrider, Justin Caudill, Scott Gamo, Lindy Garner, Ken Henke, Brian Jensen, Julie Kraft, Rod Litzel, Brian Mealor, Dwayne Rice, Dan Tekiela, Amanda Thimmayya and Mahonri Williams.
The Governor has ordered 250 copies of the report for distribution to Weed and Pest Districts, federal agencies, and the Legislature. A link to the report is also available on the home page of the Governor’s website.