CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead has named a panel to examine ways to improve the health of Wyoming's forests.

The 19-person task force is made up of representatives from federal, state and local government, the timber industry and environmental groups.

Mead said Wednesday he wants the group to recommend ways to prevent wildfires and reduce their severity. He also seeks recommendations for innovation in the timber industry.

The task force is to meet for the first time before the end of this year and report back with recommendations by next fall.

Task force members include Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser and Jacque Buchanan, regional director of renewable resources for the U.S. Forest Service. Lisa McGee with the Wyoming Outdoor Council and Jim Neiman of the timber products industry are co-chairs.