the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Western Governors on Wildfire Preparedness

Today, as part of the Western Governors Association annual meeting, President Obama met with a bipartisan group of western Governors via video-teleconference to discuss wildfire season and associated preparedness efforts. The conversation was a continuation of the dialogue the President began in February when he met with a group of western governors to discuss the complex challenges presented by an increasingly dry future for the West. Due to the drought affecting the western part of the country, the wildfire season in some parts of the West has begun earlier and is expected to last longer than usual. The President expressed his commitment to working closely with the governors as they deal with fires and their devastating impacts. He also reiterated the Administration’s commitment to fund wildfire suppression in a more responsible and effective way, a commitment that was included in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget request.

The President and his advisors discussed the outlook for the existing drought and the current fire season, as well as for long-term wildfire trends. They also highlighted progress in providing the best-available science to aid in preparedness and response operations, modernizing wildland firefighting resources like airtankers, and efforts to build resilience to fires by restoring landscapes and forests. The President stated that the Federal Government will continue to look for ways to effectively partner with state and local governments, and that he looked forward to continuing to engage with the governors as they prepare their states for the impacts of a changing climate.

The following governors participated in the meeting:

  • Governor Brewer of Arizona
  • Governor Bullock of Montana
  • Governor Dalrymple of North Dakota
  • Governor Daugaard of South Dakota
  • Governor Herbert of Utah
  • Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Governor Mead of Wyoming
  • Governor Otter of Idaho

The following Administration Officials participated in the meeting:

  • Secretary Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Secretary Jewell, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator of NOAA
  • Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
  • Michael Boots, Acting Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality
  • John Podesta, Counselor to the President
  • David Agnew, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Brian Deese, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
  • Todd Rosenblum, Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Craig Fugate, Administrator of FEMA
  • Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service
  • Louis Uccellini, Assistant Administrator for Weather Services and National Weather Service Director, NOAA
  • Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agencyn