Frequently Asked Questions

  • We encourage stations to take the time to plan an integrated approach to completing the assessment. Remember, this is primarily intended to help stations progress with the implementation of their UWCP efforts. We believe a more deliberate and thoughtful process will reap the most benefits for your station and for the UWCP overall.

    Here is what we recommend:

    • Identify an individual or core team who will coordinate and organize the group.
    • With the core team, identify whom you want involved in the process. This should include refuge management, law enforcement, biology, fire, visitor services, maintenance, and other staff; and Friends, volunteers, interns, and partners.
    • Schedule an initial meeting with the group to discuss the assessment and the process you will use to complete it. This may involve planning multiple half-day or day-long work sessions, assigning tasks, and developing a timeline for completion.
    • Throughout the process, engage additional internal and external stakeholders who may contribute.
  • This assessment is intended to:

    • Guide your station through a review of your efforts to achieve the Standards of Excellence. It will help you reflect on what you have done, assess progress, and identify gaps and needs for future efforts.
    • Serve as a road map for your station’s UWCP implementation. It will help you set reasonable objectives, prioritize, and move forward with implementing UWCP activities.
    • Build a shared understanding of the UWCP among your staff.
    • Create a record and reference of UWCP implementation at your station. Along with annual follow-up assessments, this will increase consistency over time and particularly during staff transitions.
    • Provide regional and headquarters leadership with a better understanding of ongoing efforts and help them understand what support refuges need in order to progress.
    • Assess our capacity as an agency to implement the UWCP and examine factors that may affect our ability to achieve our goals.
    • Gather lessons learned from individual stations and share them Service-wide. Learning from each other’s successes and failures will increase our ability to achieve our collective goals.
  • No! It may seem like another data call, but this is more for your station’s benefit than for reporting to regional offices or headquarters. We want the process of completing the assessment to provide you with clarity and direction on how to proceed with implementing the UWCP, and to provide leadership with a better understanding of how to support you in doing this.

  • We know that stations are at different stages in UWCP planning and implementation. You may be thinking, “We haven’t even thought about our refuge activities in relation to the Standards of Excellence,” and that’s OK. This will kick-start discussions about first steps and strategic planning.

  • If you have already gone through a strategic planning process for the UWCP at your station, that’s great! This assessment can help you identify gaps, refine objectives, and prioritize work to ensure that planned activities propel you toward achieving the goals of the UWCP.

  • It is a requirement for the two priority urban refuges identified by each region. Your region’s leadership can extend the requirement to other stations. If you are unsure if you are required, contact your regional UWCP evaluation representative (listed below). If you are not required to complete this assessment but would like to, please feel free to do so. Either way, keep in mind that you are required by the UWCP Policy to evaluate your programs and facilities in comparison with the Standards of Excellence.

  • Who should complete the assessment at our station?

    We believe your station will get the most value out of this process if you involve all refuge staff as well as other key stakeholders such as community members, volunteers, Friends, and partners. Refuges that piloted the assessment shared the following benefits and outcomes of widespread involvement:

    • Kick-started discussions about efforts to achieve the Standards of Excellence at the refuge
    • Built a shared understanding of the UWCP among staff and partners
    • Ensured that everyone was on the same page with how the refuge would move forward with implementing the UWCP
    • Increased buy-in and support for the UWCP at the refuge and in the community
    • Helped identify ways that all staff, volunteers, partners, etc., can work together and contribute to meeting the Standards of Excellence
    • Brought more perspectives, knowledge, and ideas to the table
  • Refuge staff should be familiar with the Standards of Excellence and the UWCP Policy. It would be beneficial for external stakeholders to review these documents as well. Other information and resources for the UWCP can be found on the urban hub

  • Part I, sections 1 and 2, are foundational, so we recommend starting there. After that, it’s not necessary to go in any particular order. Feel free to skip around—you can always go back and revisit, revise, and update responses.

  • Once your assessment has been submitted, your region’s evaluation representative and headquarters will review it. Following their review, your region’s rep will reach out to discuss areas of interest and to support your station where needs are determined. Individual station ratings will not be shared broadly: that information is for your station’s use and benefit; however, headquarters will collect and summarize data from across stations and share stories of success and lessons learned.

  • No! We know that many stations are just starting to think about the UWCP. Your progress ratings may be low, but you can use the assessment as a road map to plan and prioritize your activities. Also, activities should be customized for your urban area with the needs of the community in mind, so some may not be applicable to your setting.

  • That’s totally understandable. This is not intended to be a test, and you are not being graded. The action/activity and overall progress ratings should provide a frame of reference for what implementation currently looks like at your station. They should serve as a catalyst for conversations about what you want the implementation of the UWCP to look like in the future, and how you are going to get there.

  • It is great to have goals for where you would like to be. However, in order to provide a snapshot of your current implementation progress, we want you to rate your actual progress to date.

  • Only UWCP Evaluation application administrators may create staff (user) accounts. To request an account for a new user, or add someone to an existing refuge or group go to

     If you have administrative credentials, you may add users by taking these steps:

    1. From the Assessment Dashboard, click on "Add a new site user".  Or follow this link to the user registration.
    2. Fill in the available fields (First Name, Last Name, etc.).
    3. For username, it is recommended that you use the person's email address (i.e.
    4. Fill in a temporary password and confirm it with the same password.
    5. Ensure that status is set to "Active".
    6. Under "Roles", select "FWS Employee".
    7. Select "Notify user of new account" to automatically send an email to the new user.


  • UWCP Evaluation application administrators may give users access to contribute to and view assessments and evaluations (both individually and in aggregate).

    To provide access, follow these steps:

    1. From the Assessment Dashboard, select the refuge/station to which you would like to provide access.
    2. Once on that refuge's or station's dashboard, select "Edit refuge staff/observers" (this link will only be visible if you have administrative access).
    3. For users who you want to be able to contribute to assessments, begin to type their email address (username) in the "Refuge Staff" field. The field will autofill as you begin to type. Click on the "Add another item" button to add additional users.
    4. For users who should simply be able to view assessments, add them as a "Refuge Observer."
    5. Once you have added all of the users you would like, click on the "Save and keep published" button.
    6. Repeat this process for each refuge/station to which you would like to provide access.