Western Governors' Association

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Top politicians are in Vail, Colorado, this week for the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association.

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Protesters dressed as swamp creatures kayaked down a river while others marched along a bike path, past private tennis courts and swanky swimming pools outside the hotel where governors met with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

“My shirt says keep your oily hands off of Colorado's public lands,” says Chelsea Stencel, who was among the protesters. “David Bernhardt, the ultimate swamp monster.”

Matt Lavin / Flickr

According to the Western Governors Association, species like the Canada thistle and common carp aren’t just nuisances -- they’re a matter of western biosecurity.