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ODFW unveils updated Oregon Conservation Strategy

SALEM, Ore – Oregon remains in the forefront of national conservation leadership with the recent approval of the revised Oregon Conservation Strategy and its marine component, the Oregon Nearshore Strategy.

The Strategy was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and unveiled by ODFW at today’s Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Welches. It’s an update of the 2006 document that is part of a nationwide framework for proactive, voluntary, partnership-based fish and wildlife conservation.

The Strategy is an overarching plan to conserve Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats. It combines the best available science and conservation priorities with recommended voluntary actions and tools for all Oregonians to define their own conservation role.

The 2016 update includes many changes and is completely web-enabled, interactive and user-friendly. Elements of the plan can be found quickly and ODFW’s Compass interactive mapping platform lets users create customized and easily shared maps.

According to Andrea Hanson, ODFW Conservation Strategy Coordinator, the agency worked with a large and diverse group of conservation organizations, governments and tribes, public interest groups and many others to update the Strategy.

“Conservation work in Oregon is largely done through partnerships. Working with a broad range of organizations ensured the updates were thorough and relevant to a range of needs,” Hanson explained. “Revisions focused on key areas proven useful to partners and to ODFW programs.”

The Strategy’s goals are to:

Maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations by restoring and maintaining habitats;
Prevent decline of at-risk species;
Reverse downturns in fish and wildlife populations where possible.
What the Strategy does:

Identifies priority conservation issues and proposes voluntary conservation actions;
Improves coordination between partners and helps focus funding investments;
Provides a wealth of information on conservation issues in Oregon;
Gives Oregonians the chance to find their own conservation role.
“The Strategy does this by identifying the species, habitats, and locations of greatest conservation need in our state and providing a list of conservation actions that anyone from a Watershed Council to a private landowner can do,” Hanson said. “Having all Oregonians focusing conservation efforts on the priorities identified in the Strategy greatly improves our chances of success.”

The Oregon Nearshore Strategy focuses on species and habitat found from the outer boundary of Oregon’s territorial sea into the estuaries as far as species depend on the daily influx of ocean saltwater. Rapid advances in technology improved ODFW’s understanding of the marine environment while unprecedented demands and stressors on these resources highlight the need for conservation actions.

The USFWS requires all state agencies to update their conservation plans every 10 years to continue receiving State Wildlife Grant funding.

ODFW began the process in 2014 by reaching out to more than 200 technical experts, tribal biologists, and federal and state agencies for assistance along with more than 100 ODFW staff. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee was convened, reviewed updated content and provided input, and the general public was invited to review the draft document.

For more information, visit OregonConservationStrategy.org