WDFW's 2023 5-Year IT Strategic Plan


Published: August 2023

Pages: 16


The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) mission is to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. The WDFW IT Mission is to provide quality, secure, cost-effective services to achieve business goals and objectives.

Information technology resources, services, and staff will continue to play a growing critical role in this mission as the modern business world embraces technology innovations that exponentially change the way business is done. In today’s digital age, technology is outpacing state government’s Information Technology budget and strategies, creating a dilemma where staff are often able to use more advanced technology in their schooling and personal lives than at work. With this acknowledgement, WDFW has re-examined its vision and charted a new course for the future through this strategic plan.

This IT Strategy is focused on business needs, staff development, operational efficiencies, and innovations that will lead to long-term solutions that support the agency mission.

The IT Assessment included:

  • Reviewing previous IT strategic plans
  • Briefings with the agency director on vision, goals, and approach.
  • 23 Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis interviews with business units across the agency.
  • Monthly meetings with the Information Technology Governance and Steering Committee
  • 1:1 interviews with IT classed agency staff
  • Agency IT Strategic Planning Survey sent to all agency staff
  • InfoTech: IT Customer Satisfaction Survey to all agency supervisors
  • InfoTech: IT Org, Design and Staffing Assessment
  • Reviewed IT staff position descriptions
  • Reviewed Budget Centralization lessons learned

The Needs of Tomorrow

Fortunately, we know what needs to be done. If we act now, we can stem the rate of loss and change the current trajectory. Healthy fish, wildlife, and habitats safeguard our own existence into the future. People still receive significant value from opportunities and livelihoods provided by fish and wildlife. There is a growing movement for stronger connections with healthy, local, and natural foods. It is increasingly essential to the public that we manage our public resources for both consumptive and non-consumptive uses in a manner that serves existing and future generations. Quality science and WDFW’s conservation principles, per its conservation policy, will continue to drive management decisions. Decisions will be made with the understanding that Washington’s residents hold diverse values and interests related to fish and wildlife and yet will attempt to ensure legitimate access to the environmental benefits by all of Washington’s diverse people.

People’s connections and ethical relationships with nature, fish, and wildlife are varied. We have a responsibility, to manage fish and wildlife in trust for the public, to consider diverse values as long as they don’t jeopardize the sustainability of fish, wildlife, and nature for generations to come. With the diversity of values and expectations come different judgments about the appropriate management for fish, wildlife, and habitat (e.g. the levels of protection, harvest amounts and allocations, when or if removal is appropriate). This reality brings significant conflict and management challenges before the Department.

The Department will continue to evolve to understand and where possible, reduce disruptive conflict arising from the spectrum of the public’s values. This means increasing public engagement and participation, listening to understand and fostering conflict resolution skills. As we do so, we will be better equipped to find the best balance for competing interests among the residents of Washington while ensuring that we are achieving our mandates.

To be more effective, the Department can improve how it makes and communicates decisions, engages with communities and youth, works with our tribal partners, and provides sustainable opportunities for both outdoor recreation and natural resource-based industries.

Collaborative Conservation

The Department does not have the ability nor authority to achieve the necessary change alone. We must also invest in helping others’ efforts, to preserve, protect, and manage fish and wildlife. Conservation at this scale can only happen through collaboration and building new and strengthening old partnerships - including tribes and other natural resource agencies.

It’s going to take all of us working together. Local, state, federal, tribal governments, non- governmental, and conservation organizations, land managers, farmers, commercial industries, private landowners, hunters, anglers, and others of all ages and backgrounds are needed to cooperate and work toward a more resilient future for fish, wildlife, and people.