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Smart Sectors

EPA Region 8: Smart Sectors Program

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In EPA's Region 8 (covering the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) Smart Sectors is located in the Office of the Regional Administrator, where the sector leads are able to engage with Regional leadership across the land, water, air, and chemical program offices, as well as with national program offices at EPA's headquarters.

At EPA Region 8, the program leads for each sector will:

  • Serve as ombudsmen within the Region across program offices
  • Conduct educational site visits and host roundtables with Regional EPA leadership
  • Analyze data and advise on forward-thinking options for environmental improvement
  • Maintain meaningful, open dialogue with regional and national trade association partners and their environmental committees
  • Develop regional reports, as needed, that profile the impact of each sector on the economy and the environment

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EPA Region 8 Smart Sectors

Agriculture and Food Production

Whether it is durum wheat and honey bees in North Dakota, soybeans and corn in South Dakota, cattle and barley in Montana, sugar beets and hogs in Wyoming, hops and dairy cows in Colorado or hay and apples in Utah, agriculture is a dominant part of the economy in Region 8.  The agriculture sector in Region 8 includes 151,400 farms spanning 214 million acres with an annual economic impact of $36.7 billion.   A little more than 57% of the land in Region 8 is in agricultural production, excluding grazing on public lands (source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service).

Mining and Oil and Gas

From oil, uranium, molybdenum, and powder river coal to gold, potash and lignite coal mining and oil and gas thrive in the mountains and plains of region 8.  The mining sector in Region 8 employs 160,010 people and generates a $2.4 billion economic impact (source: National Mining Association).  The oil and gas sector in Region 8 employs 497,900 people and generates a $66.2 billion economic impact (source: American Petroleum Institute).

Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

When the world thinks about American outdoor recreation and tourism, it thinks about the states in region 8.  The abundant outdoor activities available in the mountains and plain states include downhill and cross-country skiing, camping, hiking and backpacking, fishing, boating, river rafting, photography, bicycling, hunting, climbing and visiting America’s national parks and monuments. The outdoor recreation sector in Region 8 employs 538,000 people generating $19.5 billion in wages and salaries (source: Outdoor Industry Association).

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Upcoming Events

Outdoor Recreation Smart Sector

South Dakota Governor's Tourism Conference

January 21-23, 2020
Pierre, SD

Past Events


  • 11/2/2019 Montana Agriculture and Food Production Smart Sectors Roundtable in Bozeman, MT
  • 10/03/2018 Local Government Smart Sectors Meeting in Billings, MT

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  • 12/04/2018 in Bismarck, ND
    • Oil and Gas Smart Sectors Meeting
    • Mining Smart Sectors Meeting
  • 10/05/2018 Outdoor Recreation Smart Sectors Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO
  • 10/04/2018 Smart Sectors Meeting in Denver, CO
  • 9/20/2018 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Cheyenne, WY
  • 9/20/2018 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Fort Collins, CO
  • 9/5/2018 - 9/6/2018 Outdoor Recreation Smart Sectors Meeting in Midway, UT
  • 8/14/2018 Mining Smart Sectors Meeting in Utah
  • 8/9/2018 Mining Smart Sectors Meeting in Colorado
  • 7/31/2018 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT
  • 7/24/2018 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Greeley, CO
  • 7/12/2018 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Rapid City, SD
  • 6/25/2015 Agriculture Smart Sectors Meeting in Minot, ND
  • 5/31/2018 Mining Smart Sectors Meeting in Montana

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Stay Connected

For more information on the Region 8 Smart Sectors Program, please send an email with your name, affiliation, and sector(s) of interest to or call 303-312-6312.

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