Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
In order to make the best use of the State Wildlife Grants program, Congress charged each state and territory with developing a statewide Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. These strategies will provide an essential foundation for the future of wildlife conservation and a stimulus to engage the states, federal agencies and other conservation partners to strategically think about their individual and coordinated roles in prioritizing conservation efforts in each state and territory.
Primary responsibility for managing wildlife management has always rested with the states, so they are taking the leadership role in writing the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies. State fish and wildlife agencies are developing the strategies by engaging of a broad array of partners, including other government agencies, conservation groups, private landowners, the public, and anyone else who has a stake in fish and wildlife management.
Each strategy will set a vision and a plan of action for state wildlife conservation and funding. While fish and wildlife agencies are leading the strategy development process, the aim is to create a strategic vision for conserving the state’s wildlife, not just a plan for the agency. While each strategy will reflect a different set of issues, management needs, and priorities, the states are working together to ensure nationwide consistency and a common focus on targeting resources at preventing wildlife from declining to the point of endangerment.
Each state strategy will be finished by October 2005, and they will be reviewed at least every decade. Many states are already working to ensure that their strategies will regularly reviewed and adaptively managed to ensure conservation success over the long term.
What makes the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies different from any other plans that have been drafted in the last decade? Two things: money and scale. The objectives and approaches defined by each strategy will receive millions of dollars of federal funds, matched with support from other sources, to ensure their implementation. Very few other plans have this clear program of support. In addition, the strategies are being produced by every state and territory to address the entire diversity of wildlife and habitats. Collectively, they will create – for the first time – a nationwide approach to wildlife conservation.