Refuge Priorities

Refuge Complex Staff Assessing Priorities in Meeting


Working Smarter, Maximizing Results   

A message from Anne Morkill, Project Leader of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Our conservation mission is becoming  more urgent in the face of climate change, invasive species, urbanization, and other stressors. We've made a lot of progress in the past few years in restoration, monitoring, land acquisition, urban community outreach, and participated in several regional planning efforts and collaborative partnerships, all of which help guide our work. However, our ability to achieve our conservation goals and objectives on the ground across seven refuges has been greatly diminished by declining budgets and less staffing.   

In order to meet these challenges now and into the future, we must focus our limited resources on those wildlife conservation and public engagement strategies that will make the most difference in achieving our conservation mission. To do that, we are using an internationally recognized process called The Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. It provides a structured framework for bringing our staff together to prioritize conservation targets, identify threats, select effective strategies, and develop annual work plans that realize the greatest benefits. This effort will rely on our existing Comprehensive Conservation Plans and best available science, but recognizes the reality that we can't do everything so we must focus on what's most important.

It’s essential to acknowledge that focusing on what's most important means that some things we are doing now will become lesser priorities. Activities identified as low priorities as a result of this process will still be represented in our work plans so that they can be addressed when more funding is available. Many of you have a vested interest in our refuges or might be affected by changes in our activities, such as our Refuge Friends groups, cooperators, researchers, and volunteers, so we are available to meet with you about this process on request. For more information on the Open Standards, visit 

For more information about our process and progress see the planning updates below. The documents are in pdf. Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you require the documents in another format, call 510/792-0222.