The Conserving the Future Community Partnership implementation team’s draft strategic plan for volunteer and partnership involvement recommends:

  • Over the next five years, add 50 Friends organizations or formal community partnerships for staffed refuges that don’t now have such an organization. In the next decade, the Refuge System hopes to have a Friends organization for every staffed refuge. Today, 139 staffed refuges have no Friends organization.

  • Work to hire full–time volunteer coordinators at refuges or refuge complex that get more than 200,000 annual visitors.

  • Enhance recruitment, orientation and incentives for volunteers, especially among diverse communities.

  • Strengthen Friends training not only through the Refuge System Friends Academy, but also through national conferences and regional workshops.

  • Redesign the Friends mentoring program.

As draft plans are posted, Refuge Friends and others may comment online at–the–network or by emailing

Comments are being accepted through March 15 on a draft plan to expand the Friends mentoring program. Find the plan at; click on Social Network, then Groups, then Community Partnerships.