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Top elected officials tackle crucial topics at Western Governors' Association Meeting

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WHITEFISH -

Top elected officials from ten states joined together in Whitefish on June 27th on the second day of the 2017 Western Governor's Meeting.  The meeting spans over three days from Monday, June 26th to Wednesday, June 28th, 2017.

On June 27th, the round table discussion started with the importance of combating wildfires.  Tom Tidwell from the U.S. Forest Service stresses the importance of respecting the land and being proactive instead of reactive. 

Tidwell explains, “The more we can get folks to understand this is the work that the land needs.  And yes it produces a lot of jobs, it produces a lot of bio mass, that's really the driving purpose of what we do."

He goes onto say many resort towns in the summer suffer when wildfire smoke infiltrates the town.

Another topic that was discussed amongst the panel is the growing popularity of microbreweries in the area.

Microbreweries create jobs and bring tourism to the area, but the governors tackled issue of policy change.  These changes include tasting room licenses to the increasing demand placed on water sources that need to be available for brewing.

All of this was discussed before Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took to the stage for his keynote address.

Secretary Zinke stressed the importance of trust, more specifically transparency between the government and the people.  And emphasizes that the “government works for you, the people.”

He also talks about his love for public lands, saying “leave your camp ground in a better way than how you found it.”

Secretary of the Interior Zinke says he works for the people on the “front line” and wishes he could get home to Whitefish more often.

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