The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently approved Idaho’s State Wildlife Action Plan, which renews the plan for about a decade and means the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will continue to get $550,000 in federal money.
The State Wildlife Action Plan is for conserving and managing Idaho’s diverse fish and wildlife and the habitats on which they depend. The plan was developed using input from Idahoans including sportsmen and women, conservationists, landowners and community leaders, as well as state and federal agency representatives.
The plan was originally completed in 2005, and “we did a complete overhaul from top to bottom,” said Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator Rita Dixon.
Dixon explained that while Fish and Game has numerous plans for managing wildlife, this plan focuses on “species of greatest conservation need,” which can be game or nongame species, and the habitat they require.
“We tried to take a look at the system as a whole and not just focus on individual species,” Dixon said.
She explained the plan addresses key threats to wildlife and habitat, such as fires and nonnative invasive species, among others, and prioritizes actions that should be done for conservation.
The plan also helps federal agencies, such as Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, when they update their land management plans by providing important information about at-risk species.
Dixon added the plan is designed to incorporate new information as it becomes available so it can be revised at any time rather than waiting for the congressionally mandated update every 10 years.
The plan will also ensure steady funding for Fish and Game’s wildlife diversity program.
“It’s good for sportsmen and women, and good for others who care about wildlife and wild places,” Dixon said.
The State Wildlife Action Plan is online and can be found at https://idfg.idaho.gov/swap.