Public May Attend Dec. 7 WGA Meeting

posted Nov 24, 2011, 11:04 PM by JTCA Contact   [ updated Nov 25, 2011, 12:28 PM ]

Attached below is a press release from the Western Governors Association (WGA) announcing an opportunity for the public to attend the planned WGA meeting to be held on December 7 in Yucca Valley. Note the November 30 registration deadline, and the link to the Western Governors' website for further information.

Joe Zarki
Public Information Officer,
Joshua Tree National Park

Western Governors to Meet Dec. 7 in Yucca Valley
Rural Economic Development, Getting Kids Outdoors on Agenda

November 22, 2011

Contact: Chris McKinnon (303) 623-9378 ext. 122

DENVER -- Western governors will meet in Yucca Valley on Dec. 7 to discuss the important role tourism and recreation play in job creation and economic development in small rural communities, and they will hear from experts and young people about getting more families and kids connected to the outdoors.

Two plenary sessions on these topics will be held between 10:30 a.m. until noon, followed by lunch at the Yucca Valley Community Center. Local residents may attend the sessions and lunch. There is a $30 registration fee, and seating is limited. Please pre-register online at by November 30th.

“Places like Yucca Valley that serve as gateways to our state and national parks are great economic drivers,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire (Wash.), WGA’s Chair. “We’re grateful to Yucca Valley for hosting us and we hope to learn from the community about their successes and share that knowledge with all the Western states.”

The two plenary sessions are:

  1. Job Creation and Economic Development in Small Rural Communities
    Governors and local government and business leaders will discuss the growing economic importance of tourism and recreation in the West’s economy and strategies small communities are using to create jobs, strengthen the economy and provide government services in difficult economic times. Governors will highlight successful programs in their states. Panelists include: Frank Hugelmeyer, Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Association; Neil Derry, San Bernardino County Supervisor; Paul Smith, Owner of the 29 Palms Inn and President of the Twentynine Palms Inkeepers' Association.

  2. Passing Down a Western Outdoor Ethic to Today’s Youth
    Recent studies have found kids are spending more and more time indoors and less and less time outside. The area around Yucca Valley includes national and state parks as well as millions or acres of open space. Experts from California State Parks and the National Park Service on engaging youth in outdoor activities as well as a local high school student and college student will speak with the governors about their experiences and challenges and what states can do to encourage families and kids to explore the West’s scenic beauty. Governors will highlight successful programs in their state. Panelists include: Ron Krueper, District Superintendent, Inland Region District, CA State Parks; Mike Cipra, Environmental Specialist, U.S. National Park Service, Death Valley N.P.; Lucas Basulto, Student, Barstow Community College; and Sierra Zacks, Student, Yucca Valley High School.

For more information visit the WGA Web site at