CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Nevada Commission on Tourism is among 13 western states that have signed a historic agreement with U.S. government agencies pledging mutual cooperation in promoting tourism on federal lands while protecting natural, historic and cultural resources, Director Tim Maland announced today.

The Western States Tourism Policy Council (WSTPC) and key leaders of nine federal agencies signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Washington, D.C., Feb. 29, to be announced today, recommitting to a strategy of mutual support, coordination and cooperation. The MOU renews and expands similar agreements originally signed in 1997 and renewed in 2001.

“Tourism is Nevada’s No. 1 economic engine, and many of our most popular visitor attractions are on federally managed land,” Maland said. “This historic agreement will benefit Nevada and other states and communities throughout the West that depend on business generated by tourism, which sustains state and local economies.”

The WSTPC, formed in 1996, is a consortium of 13 western state tourism offices: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Its mission is to support public policies and programs that enable travel and tourism to provide maximum economic and environmental benefits to the states and communities of the West. 

“The member states of the WSTPC are highly pleased that through this MOU we can build on the accomplishments of the past decade that have resulted from the excellent relations we have developed with our federal partners,” WSTPC Chairman Michael Cerletti, New Mexico Cabinet secretary of tourism, said.

Federal agencies from four different Cabinet departments that signed the MOU are U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service; Department of Commerce,: International Trade Administration; Department of Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service; Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration. In addition, the independent Small Business Administration also signed the agreement.

The agreement pledges to work together to:

Since 1997, the agencies and the WSTPC have collaborated on a number of projects highly beneficial to travel and tourism in the West, including sponsoring seven major joint conferences on tourism and recreation on the federal public lands, gateway communities, international travel and transportation and tourism. Another joint conference on relations between gateway communities and federal land agencies is planned Dec. 2-4 in New Mexico.  Conference details will soon be available on at www.WSTPC.org

  • Develop and distribute information about travel and tourism opportunities in western states;
  • Assist travel and tourism organizations in planning, developing, marketing and managing travel and tourism on federal lands;
  • Organize, encourage and participate in community activities that enhance understanding about the use of travel and tourism to diversify the economic base of communities;
  • Organize and assess educational programs that enhance the ability of agencies to manage travel and tourism activities in balance with stewardship responsibilities;
  • Coordinate with private entities and tribal, state and local governments to provide tourism opportunities;
  • Promote sustainable management practices to protect natural, historic and cultural resources of federal lands.