At long last, California is becoming part of the American West.
That seems like a silly statement. Of course California is part of the West geographically, but in many ways California, and to a lesser degree Oregon and Washington, have been apart from the other Western states--economically, environmentally and politically. A symptom of this is the fact that for years California and other Western states never were comfortable partners in organizations like the Western Governors' Assn. California always was too big and sophisticated for the Utahs, Montanas and Wyomings. And there often has been antagonism over California's exploitation of other Western states' resources.
But now a new Westwide group has formed, and California is looked to for full partnership. It is the Western States' Strategy Center and the allied Fund for the West, described by its founders as a public-private alliance for Western prosperity. Members include the Western governors, Western members of Congress, representatives of state and local government and business, corporate and institutional leaders. The center and the Fund for the West will seek to expand international trade, capital formation, commercialization of new technology and new enterprise formation. The group's first director is Philip M. Burgess, an executive on loan from US West, the Denver-based telephone holding company for most of the Western states.