North American Waterfowl Management Plan Revision Available for Public Review and Comment
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking public comments on the draft revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP).
First signed in 1986 between Canada and the United States — with Mexico joining in 1994 — the NAWMP is held as a leading model for international conservation plans. In large measure this is because it is a living and evolving document, updated periodically with engagement of the broad waterfowl conservation community in all three countries. The final Plan revision is expected to be released by mid-2012.
The draft Plan revision is available for public comment by visiting www.nawmprevision.org; via email to email@example.com; or by U.S. Mail to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, Attn: Draft NAWMP Revision, 4401 North Fairfax Drive MS4075, Arlington, VA 22203.
Comments will be accepted until September 26, 2011.
"The world is changing, challenging waterfowl conservationists like never before to improve the way we do business," said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "The revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan will guide us toward improving waterfowl conservation in the face of social, physical, ecological and economic challenges and enable managers to focus on the things that matter most to achieving shared conservation goals. The international Plan Committee is committed to ensuring that stakeholder input is fully incorporated in this important document."
In the past, NAWMP goals were described in terms of desired waterfowl population numbers to be achieved through science-based habitat conservation and regional partnerships. In the Plan revision, a more inclusive purpose for waterfowl conservation will reflect the full range of fundamental goals identified by Plan stakeholders.
In 2009 and 2010, the Plan Committee held a series of stakeholder workshops in the United States and Canada aimed at gathering input on goals and objectives for waterfowl management and identifying broad-scale alternative strategies for achieving those objectives. An International Revision Steering Committee synthesized feedback received at these workshops and through the website, www.nawmprevision.org. A writing team comprising government and nongovernment scientists and waterfowl managers from both Canada and the United States produced the draft Plan revision.
Waterfowl are among North America's most highly valued natural resources. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, in 2006, 87.5 million Americans spent $122.3 billion on wildlife-related recreation. This includes 1.8 million U.S. waterfowl hunters who spent nearly $1 billion on trips and equipment.
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011, ranks among the largest and most successful conservation initiatives ever undertaken. As of January 2011, NAWMP partners had raised more than $5 billion dollars and conserved more than 17.3 million acres.
The draft Plan revision considers the entire spectrum of waterfowl management, including needs expressed by the general public, and proposes new goals for waterfowl management. One of those new goals addresses the value of waterfowl and wetlands to society and recognizes the link between human appreciation of waterfowl and wetland resources and conservation of those resources.
The draft Plan acknowledges the strong links among all of these goals and highlights the need for changing the traditional waterfowl management model by advocating for a system that integrates human connections with waterfowl and habitat considerations.
The NAWMP revision's Action Plan, to be released in the fall, provides more explicit guidance for advancing this integrated waterfowl management philosophy. The Action Plan will serve as a technical road map to aid in implementing the objectives of the Plan revision.