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NRCS Action Plan for Fish, Wildlife and Wetlands Everything we do on the land affects Fish and Wildlife! Fish and Wildlife-Associated Recreation:* Participants: 82 million Expenditures: $108 billion Hunting and fishing expenditures: $57 billion Wildlife Watching Expenditures: $38 billion

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Presentation Transcript
slide3

Fish and Wildlife-Associated

Recreation:*

Participants: 82 million

Expenditures: $108 billion

Hunting and fishing expenditures: $57 billion

Wildlife Watching Expenditures: $38 billion

*USFWS 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and

Wildlife-Associated Recreation

slide4

WHIP

WRP

CRP

CREP

EQIP

1996 Farm Bill Emphasized Wildlife

2002 Farm Bill

Reemphasized Wildlife!

slide6

Framework for the Future

Goals (1996)

1. Implement wildlife-related

agency policy

2. Expand the role of biologists

in the planning process

3. Marketing and training to incorporate wildlife

into planning

4. Use partnerships to enhance wildlife planning

slide7

1996

Barriers:

I. Staffing

II. Setting Priorities

III. Training

IV. Tools

V. Administrative

VI. Client Concerns

VII. Single Resource Planning Focus

slide8

Many actions have been taken to address issues and barriers, while many others remain.

Fish and wildlife and wetlands technology development has been the focus of the Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, and Wetland Science Institute, and Watershed Science Institute

slide9

December, 2003

Chief Knight called together a new task force to review NRCS fish, wildlife and wetlands needs.

NHQ

WHMI

WSI

O&E

WSSI

IAFWA

USFWS

WMI

WHC

NFWF

PF

NRCS Field/State

slide10

Primary needs were identified and prioritized

  • Initial charge was technology and training needs
    • However…
  • Issues related to program management and policy were also addressed
slide11

General Needs

  • Technology development and training:
  • Need a better understanding of fish and wildlife response to farm bill programs
  • Need to increase training to improve wildlife assistance in conservation planning
slide12

General Needs

  • Policy and program management:
  • Need to consider fish and wildlife in all aspects of planning
  • Need biological input in planning
  • Need to work closely with partners, particularly state agencies and NGOs
  • Need for NRCS leadership to fully embrace wildlife
  • Need to develop policy and manage programs to maximize fish and wildlife benefits
slide14

Jobsheets

Training tools

Tech notes

Videos

Handbooks

E-tools

Technology needs addressed by WHMI 1997-2004

Projects funded: 70

Products produced: 63

Products nearing completion: 15

Products in the “Pipeline:” 34

slide15

Majority of needs are related to policy

178 specific needs (31 high-priority)

slide16

Action Plan

From the 31 highest priority needs, 11 action items were prioritized

slide17

High Priority Actions

  • 1. Assess the impact of all practices supported by conservation programs on fish and wildlife.

Action: Continue efforts of WHMI via the Wildlife and Wetland Technology Teams to document fish and wildlife response to conservation practices.

Action: Ensure CEAP captures fish and wildlife effects.

Technology development

slide18

High Priority Actions

  • 2. In response to the Administration’s net wetland gain initiative, improve the timeliness and effective-ness of wetland restoration, enhancement, and creation practices on WRP acreage.

Action: Quantify restoration backlog on enrolled lands.

Action: Identify and remedy program delivery constraints, including additional TA funding needs, to maximize wetland functions on WRP.

Policy and management

slide19

High Priority Actions

  • 3. Develop and implement the management infrastructure necessary for NRCS easement
  • programs.

Action: Continue to provide states with easement management assistance and training.

Action: Acquire easement management expertise within NRCS NHQ to provide assistance to states.

Policy and management

slide20

High Priority Actions

  • 4. Revise or develop state-level strategic plans for WHIP operation and ranking process to focus on
  • highest priority wildlife needs.

Action: Issue national guidance to require states to focus program on highest priority wildlife needs and develop implementation plans accordingly.

Policy and management

slide21

High Priority Actions

  • 5. Provide flexibility for managing vegetation (in CRP) to maximize
  • wildlife habitat quality, including necessary treatments during the nesting season.

Action: Work with FSA to develop guidance that allows greater management flexibility for the purpose of maximizing wildlife habitat quality.

Policy and management

slide22

High Priority Actions

  • 6. Continue to develop and evaluate wetland restoration, enhancement, and creation technology to maximize wetland benefits from WRP.

Action: Continue to refine and develop wetland technology, including evaluation of completed WRP projects.

Technology development

slide23

High Priority Actions

  • 7. Continue emphasis on wetland hydrology restoration, enhancement, and creation (for WRP).

Action: Continue to refine wetland hydrology restoration technology.

Action: Review and evaluate implementation of hydrology restoration technology.

Technology development

Policy and management

slide24

High Priority Actions

  • 8. Provide strong national leadership to ensure EQIP addresses fish and wildlife concerns.

Action: Issue national policy to require states to develop EQIP ranking factors and other program elements to maximize fish and wildlife benefits

Action: Maximize fish and wildlife benefits in selection of Conservation Innovation Grants

Policy and management

slide25

High Priority Actions

  • 9. Require biology job approval authority for biology-related practices (e.g., wetland restoration,
  • creation and enhancement, wildlife upland management, and wildlife wetland management).

Action: Issue national policy that requires field staff to demonstrate appropriate skills before being authorized to plan, design and approve certain biology practices.

Policy and management

slide26

High Priority Actions

  • 10. Institutionalize regional wildlife habitat restoration and management courses in NEDC.

Action: Charge NEDC and TSC’s to develop and offer regional training courses on fish and wildlife habitat restoration and management.

Policy and management

slide27

High Priority Actions

  • 11. Expand work with partners to supplement limited funding and utilize biological expertise of partner organizations.

Action: Issue national guidance to emphasize working with partners to implement WHIP.

Action: Involve partners in TSP process.

Action: Participate in fish and wildlife professional societies.

Policy and management

slide28

Action items for the remaining high-priority fish and wildlife needs are included in the Action Plan.

Administration and Agency Issues and Initiatives

Program Needs

WHIP

CRP

WRP

EQIP

GRP

Field Office Tech Guide Needs

General Training Needs

General Technology Needs

Partner Concerns