Strategic planning

Cover of the draft strategic plan
Download the final draft plan

Draft 25-Year Strategic Plan

A Path for a New Era

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) is currently crafting a 25-Year draft strategic plan to address these challenges. The plan, if adopted, would help the Department shift the trajectory of its work through actions outlined within five 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  
  • Move WDFW toward operational and environmental excellence.  

In 2019, under the directions of the Fish and Wildlife Commission and WDFW Director Kelly Susewind, the Department began an effort craft the plan based on the diverse perspectives of stakeholders, partners, and employees. If adopted, the plan will help the department to guide collaboration, policy and funding decisions.

Key Dates

Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider adoption on Oct. 2, 2020.

Contact us

Contact the team working on the WDFW strategic plan via email at Those who have poor internet access, don't have access to email, or are otherwise not able to engage digitally are encouraged to request a copy of the draft plan at 360-902-2208. (Limited copies available.)

Written feedback can be mailed to:
Strategic Plan/Kevin Wharton
P.O. Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504-3200 

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.