In 2005, Washington, along with forty-nine states and six territories, completed a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy to fulfill a federal requirement to obtain funding from the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program. It was one of the farthest-reaching national conservation efforts in nearly 30 years. These strategies, now called Wildlife Action Plans (WAP), provide a significant opportunity for Washington State as a valuable conservation tool and to gain significant future funding. Further, the high profile of this effort within the state and federal government, private conservation community and Congress has raised expectations that the State’s management of our fish and wildlife resources will be focused through this planning process.
Washington’s Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) serves as the guiding framework in an adaptive management process. It will inform integration of management projects conducted to address conservation threats to Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their associated priority habitats. It will:
- Facilitate the evolution of the CWCS into a true action plan with localized activities identified at the ecoregional scale.
- Continue to re-examine and redefine the relative priority of wildlife species and associated habitats.
- Integrate the CWCS into the Thirty-Year Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
- Coordinate multi-agency land acquisition with other state and local agencies through the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).
- Accelerate coordinated planning for species and habitat conservation among federal and state land management agencies.
- Complete local habitat assessments and develop new and better databases and mapping products for local governments to use in Growth Management Planning.
- Better integrate management of marine and aquatic ecosystems with terrestrial ecosystems, both within WDFW and among state and federal agencies.
- Incorporate identified species and habitat conservation priorities into operational work plans within WDFW and other conservation partners.
- Incorporate specific conservation actions into WDFW’s cost accounting systems to help develop and monitor project budgets and priorities.