Finding a celebrity to appear in public service announcements that herald national wildlife refuges. Cataloging lessons learned from 15 years of planning. Launching communitybased science workshops. Identifying the barriers that keep some urban dwellers from visiting wildlife refuges. Those are just a few products and projects being considered by the nine Conserving the Future implementation teams as they work to transform the management vision into ontheground achievements.
The implementation teams submitted their work plans to the Refuge System Leadership Team, which includes the chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System and the eight regional refuge chiefs. Those plans, which were discussed by the leadership team at its lateFebruary meeting, outline somewhat detailed approaches and timelines to take the 24 Conserving the Future recommendations from broad concepts to measurable actions. The approved work plans, which are on the AmericasWildlife.org Web site, identify a variety of needs for subteams, surveys and collaboration.
The nine teams are working on strategic growth; an urban wildlife refuge initiative; leadership development; planning; scientific excellence; community partnerships; communications; hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation; and interpretation and education. Many of the teams must complete draft recommendations by the end of June. Conserving the Future is to be significantly implemented in five years.
One element has been consistent for every team: an interest in working with partnersincluding state wildlife agencies and nongovernmental organizationsto bring landscapelevel conservation and broad communications, training, interpretative and educational services to the nations conservation work.
The Refuge System has made it easy for state partners, Friends and the public to ask questions and make comments about implementation by talking directly to the Conserving the Future and Washington Office staffs via a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The individual work plans highlight the following themes:
- All implementation teams say they need to work with the Urban Refuge Initiative implementation team. Making national wildlife refuges relevant to a diverse swath of Americans is a cornerstone of Conserving the Future.
- All teams recognize the importance of communications. The Communications team is charged with writing a strategic communications plan for the whole Refuge System.
- Coordination among teams that focus on wildlife conservationsuch as the Planning, Strategic Growth and Scientific Excellence teamsis important. So is similar coordination among teams that work on issues with a human dimensionsuch as the Community Partnerships and Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Recreation teams.
The AmericasWildlife.org Web site regularly will be updated with implementation news.