Washington's State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) is a comprehensive plan for conserving the state's fish and wildlife and the natural habitats on which they depend. It is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans and participate in the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program. The purpose of the SWG Program is to support state actions that broadly benefit wildlife and habitats, but particularly "Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)" as identified by each individual state.
Washington’s first plan was completed in 2005 and was called the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy or CWCS. The CWCS has since become known as the State Wildlife Action Plan. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) requires these plans be updated every 10 years in order to remain eligible for State Wildlife Grants funding. The 2015 SWAP is a complete revision of the 2005 CWCS with changes to the list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need, threats reassessed, and new conservation actions identified. It objectively assesses the status of the state's wildlife and habitats, identifies key problems they face, and outlines the actions needed to conserve them over the long term. A guiding principle of the SWAP planning process is to identify actions needed to conserve wildlife and their habitats before species become too rare and restoration efforts too costly. Our intent is that the SWAP serves to inform conservation priorities and guide conservation actions statewide. It is envisioned that any government entity and conservation partner that has an interest in wildlife and habitat conservation will be able to use the information presented in the SWAP and implement actions that align with their own conservation mission and goals. To that end, the SWAP provides tools and informational resources to support collaborative conservation initiatives across a range of organizations and entities.