Strategic planning

2019 and Beyond

In June 2019, the Director developed a Director of Conservation Policy position with a role of leading the strategic planning process for 2019 and beyond.  As the Department develops and implements that process, we’ll use this page to update you on the progress.

2017-2019 Strategic Plan

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 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. Hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities managed by the Department contribute to the State’s outdoor recreation culture, which generates $22 billion in economic activity each year and almost 200,000 jobs across the state.

21st Century Salmon & Steelhead Initiative

Big challenges for wild salmon and steelhead require that management and recovery efforts be more strategic than ever. WDFW must: support the work of our partners to restore and protect habitat; ensure fisheries protect wild populations; and reform hatchery programs.

There wasn’t a blueprint for how to accomplish this all at once- so we made one.

WDFW formed a planning team-with expertise in science, habitat protection and recovery, hatchery management, fisheries, enforcement, and outreach-to build a new framework for 21st century salmon and steelhead management. The framework is a matrix of measurable outcomes critical for healthy salmon and healthy fisheries, against which salmon-related strategies can be judged.

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.