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New task force aims to coordinate conservation across state lines

Deborah Lee Soltesz
Deborah Lee Soltesz/Deborah Lee Soltesz
U.S. Forest Service, Coconino Na
Deborah Lee Soltesz

There will soon be a new forum for Western states and federal agencies to coordinate environmental conservation across borders and jurisdictions. KSJD's Lucas Brady Woods reports.

A so-called task force on collaborative conservation is being launched by The Western Governors Association, along with the departments of the Interior and Agriculture.

It’ll serve as a forum where state, local and federal jurisdictions can work together on conservation issues.

The group will also help figure out the best way to implement funding for conservation from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was passed by Congress last year.

Sarah Greenberger is an Associate Deputy Secretary at the Interior Department.

"The rivers don't stop at state borders," she says. "Forests bridge state, private, and federal land. When you're thinking of how to address these challenges, you can't do it piecemeal, and you need to work together right to have a solution that has an impact."

She also says the task force will allow for states and federal agencies to bring together the different perspectives, resources and expertise that each party has access to.

The task force does not include Native American tribes, but, according to Greenberger, it is only one of many collaborative efforts addressing conservation, including those working with tribal communities.

The Western Governors Association, which is leading the task force, is made up of governors from all western states including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

For KSJD News, I’m Lucas Brady Woods in the Four Corners.

Lucas is the News Director for KSJD Community Radio. His work focuses on serving the public of the Four Corners with responsible, factual reporting.