Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 2013-15 Strategic Plan
 
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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 2013-15 Strategic Plan

Category: Agency Plans and Reports - Strategic Plans

Date Published: July 11, 2013

Number of Pages: 17

INTRODUCTION:

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is the state’s principal steward of fish and wildlife resources. State law directs the department to conserve native fish and wildlife and their habitat, while also supporting sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor opportunities for millions of Washington residents and visitors.

Popular hunting and fishing activities managed by WDFW support $5.7 billion in economic activity each year and tens of thousands of jobs across the state. Wildlife watching produces billions of dollars more in economic benefits each year.

WDFW’s total operating budget in the 2011-13 biennium was $367 million, including a variety of state, federal and local funds. Budget reductions approved since 2009 have reduced State General Fund revenues to only 18 percent of WDFW’s total operating budget, down from 32 percent in the 2007-09 biennium. Since then, an increase in license fees has boosted Wildlife Account revenues by 20 percent, but those revenues are dedicated to maintaining fishing and hunting seasons and are not available to fund other management priorities.

The department directly employs nearly 1,500 employees in communities across the state.

Strategic Plan goals
WDFW’s Strategic Plan is based on four main goals, each with strategies designed to help the department achieve its long-term objectives. The department’s goals are:

Healthy fish and wildlife populations
The department is developing new strategies for protecting and restoring native fish and wildlife populations as the state’s growing human population displaces an increasing number of species. The plan outlines strategies for managing specific species such as salmon and gray wolves, as well as systematic efforts to preserve and restore the ecological integrity of entire ecosystems. This approach, known as “ecosystem management,” has been shown to be a cost-effective way to address the needs of multiple species and “keep common species common.”

Sustainable outdoor experiences
WDFW is committed to providing sustainable fishing, hunting and wildlife-viewing opportunities throughout the state. These popular outdoor activities are a “quality of life” issue for millions of Washingtonians, and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits for local businesses and communities each year. This plan is designed to maintain and increase those benefits with strategies that range from developing new commercial fishing gear to opening more public and private lands to hunting and fishing.

Support a strong economy and social values
Washingtonians have a keen interest in the state’s fish and wildlife resources, whether for recreational, commercial, or aesthetic reasons. This plan includes new strategies to involve citizens – and whole communities – in decisions that affect their future and that of the state’s other living resources. It highlights the importance of responding quickly and effectively to citizens’ concerns, and encourages collaborating with stakeholders to maximize the economic benefits of fish and wildlife. Recognizing the vital role hunters and fishers have played as stewards of those resources, WDFW is also working to engage more citizens in that important work.

Pursue operational excellence
WDFW recognizes that a skilled, diverse workforce and efficient business processes are essential to effectively manage fish and wildlife and serve the public in the 21st century. Plans for staff development include additional training opportunities and more collaboration among programs throughout the department. Technological improvements include a new licensing system that will expedite customer service for 2.5 million licensing transactions each year. Plans also call for deployment of a new system for processing hydraulic project permits that will – for the first time –allow the public to apply for permits, make payments and track their applications online. In addition, Lean management will be used to improve a number of WDFW’s business processes, including hiring, purchasing and capital budget development.