Strategic planning

25-Year Strategic Plan Cover
Photo by WDFW
Download the final plan

WDFW's 25-Year Strategic Plan

A path to an improved era for fish, wildlife and people

The Washington population is expanding. Our climate is changing. Public values and expectations are shifting. As a result of these and other factors, many fish and wildlife populations across Washington are failing to thrive.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has a 25-Year Strategic Plan: A Path to an Improved Era for Fish, Wildlife, and People to address these challenges. The plan is helping the Department shift the trajectory of its work through actions outlined within four key strategies:

  • Proactively address conservation challenges,  
  • Engage communities through recreation and stewardship,
  • Deliver science that informs Washington’s most pressing fish and wildlife questions, and  
  • Model operational and environmental excellence.  

Download the plan overview

Contact the strategic planning team via email at

WDFW Long-term Funding Plan

Our fish and wildlife resources and the natural lands on which they depend are at risk. The challenge of adequately funding fish and wildlife is not unique to Washington, but it is acute here. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), the State’s main steward of fish and wildlife populations and habitat, is facing significant, chronic, structural budget shortfalls. If action is not taken, deep cuts in services across the board will be needed to balance the books. Even if funding were increased to keep services at their current level, the investment is still woefully inadequate. Nationally, the National Wildlife Federation estimates that we are funding the work called for in the State Wildlife Action Plans for species of greatest concern no more than 5 percent of need. In Washington, DFW estimates the funding is less than 5 percent. Salmon and steelhead recovery is lagging behind what is desired, and Southern Resident Killer Whales face extinction if diminishing population trends cannot be reversed.