What is the Oregon Conservation Strategy?
Previously called the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, the Oregon Conservation Strategy provides a non-regulatory, statewide approach to species and habitat conservation. It synthesizes existing plans, scientific data, and local knowledge into a broad vision and conceptual framework for long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish, wildlife and habitats.
How is the Conservation Strategy different from an ODFW management plan?
The Conservation Strategy is different from a management plan in two important ways. First, it provides a broad, strategic approach to conservation rather than prescribing a specific set of tasks. Second, it not limited to what ODFW can do for fish and wildlife. Rather, it is intended to be a conservation tool for all Oregonians. The issues identified in this document are often complex and cannot be solved by any one agency or entity. These issues require cooperative, coordinated approaches for long-term success.
Why has ODFW developed the Conservation Strategy?
Congress is providing funding to states for proactive wildlife conservation efforts that will help avoid expensive and potentially controversial measures for species conservation. To ensure that the funding is used efficiently and effectively, Congress directed that each state accepting these grant funds prepare a long-term conservation strategy. All state strategies contain information on species and habitats most in need of conservation action; the issues and problems affecting them; and key conservation actions, research and monitoring needed to address those issues.
The Oregon Conservation Strategy also presents ideas for expanding and improving voluntary conservation tools; briefly discusses education, tourism and other ways to engage citizens in conservation; and describes many successful cooperative conservation projects.
What are some potential benefits of the Conservation Strategy?
The Conservation Strategy provides a long-term “blue print” for conserving Oregon's natural resources in a manner that will maintain or improve those resources for today and for future generations. It outlines how and where Oregonians can work to conserve the state’s natural resources. The Conservation Strategy is intended to leverage limited conservation resources - such as money, equipment and time - in a more efficient and effective manner; encourage voluntary conservation efforts; recognize the contributions that landowners and land managers are already making towards conserving Oregon’s natural heritage; and demonstrate to landowners and local conservation groups how local conservation actions fit into a broader regional or statewide perspective. It provides an opportunity to expand the successful voluntary approach of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds by maintaining and restoring upland areas for improved watershed function. It builds upon the success of landowner assistance programs such as soil and water conservation districts, watershed councils, university extension services and many others.
Will the Conservation Strategy affect how I manage my land?
The Conservation Strategy takes a voluntary, collaborative approach to conservation. It will not impose new limits, requirements, or processes on private landowners or public land users. It works within the existing legal structure and is not a substitute for regulations. It does not and will not challenge, change, expand, or add regulations. It will not impose limits or new requirements on private landowners or public land users. Instead, it provides a wide range of voluntary conservation tools, so local communities and landowners can choose what is appropriate for their situations and goals. It summarizes the existing incentive programs available to landowners and makes recommendations for improving delivery of some programs.
What are Conservation Opportunity Areas?
Everyone can contribute to fish and wildlife conservation in Oregon. The Conservation Strategy offers opportunities for landowners and land managers to maintain and restore habitats throughout the state. However, focusing investments on priority landscapes can increase likelihood of long-term success over larger areas, improve funding efficiency, and promote cooperative efforts across ownership boundaries. Conservation Opportunity Areas are landscapes where broad fish and wildlife conservation goals can best be met. Working in these landscapes can increase effectiveness of conservation actions at larger scales than individual projects scattered throughout the state. While conservation actions and incentive programs are not, and should not be, limited to Conservation Opportunity Areas, these are the primary areas ODFW will promote as investment priorities for voluntary conservation tools.
How did ODFW involve the public and other groups in developing the Conservation Strategy?
ODFW involved as many people and entities as possible during development of the Conservation Strategy. ODFW specialists talked to hundreds of citizens, biologists, agency personnel, and elected officials to gather information and perspectives while developing the draft Conservation Strategy. Development of the Conservation Strategy was guided by a broad-based, geographically-balanced Stakeholder Advisory Committee representing the state’s agriculture, forestry and rangeland management interests, as well as conservation, fishing and hunting, tourism, local governments, landowners, and groups and organizations that work with landowners on conservation and restoration efforts.
The draft Conservation Strategy was distributed widely for public review and comment. The document was also posted on ODFW’s website, with a link for providing comments on-line. Comments and edits were incorporated into the draft document sent to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in August 2005. The Commission endorsed the Conservation Strategy at their September 2005 meeting.
How can I be involved?
Every Oregonian can have a role in implementing the Conservation Strategy. The key first step is to let people know about conservation needs, provide them with a menu of possible actions, and give them the technical or financial tools to help them take action. Some example opportunities include:
- Landowners, land managers and conservation groups can identify Strategy Species or Habitats of interest to them and work on conservation actions such as habitat restoration.
- People can get involved in the many on-going citizen-based monitoring projects in communities and through schools. Citizen-based monitoring will have an important role in evaluating the effectiveness of conservation actions.
- Academic institutions can assist with filling research needs and data gaps, conduct monitoring and provide results that can be used for adaptive management and analysis.
ODFW is laying the ground work for implementing the Conservation Strategy by providing information on ODFW’s website, building partnerships with landowners and a variety of entities, and determining how to monitor the Conservation Strategy’s approach. More information