Last year, hundreds of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and partners worked to forge the Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation vision for the National Wildlife Refuge System. This year, we collectively are beginning to implement that vision.
In 2012, Refuge Update is presenting a series of Focus sections devoted to the implementation. The sections emphasize and parallel the realms of various Conserving the Future implementation teams.
This Focus section centers on the work of the Planning and Strategic Growth teams as it pertains to all things that fly.
The Planning teams mandate involves recommendation 1 in the vision:
Recommendation 1: Incorporate the lessons learned from our first round of CCPs [comprehensive conservative plans] and HMPs [habitat management plans] into the next generation of conservation plans, and ensure these new plans view refuges
in a landscape context and describe actions to project conservation benefits beyond refuge boundaries.
The Strategic Growth team is concerned with recommendations 3, 4 and 5:
Recommendation 3: Undertake a rapid toptobottom assessment of the status of all Refuge System land protection projects and complete a report that will inform development of a plan for the strategic, future growth of the Refuge System.
Recommendation 4: Ensure future land protection efforts are based on clear priorities, rigorous biological planning and conservation design that support achieving quantifiable conservation and population objectives that are developed in cooperation with state fish and wildlife agencies.
Recommendation 5: Use all of the Services conservation tools, especially Partners for Fish and Wildlife, to work nationwide to project conservation benefits beyond refuge boundaries, leveraging resources through partnerships with other governmental agencies, conservation groups and private landowners and achieving mutually shared and scientifically sound restoration and protection goals around refuges.
The Focus section includes articles about tools for acquiring, monitoring and managing habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl; the evolution of the flyway system; the importance of engaging the public in the CCP process; and more.