California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Integrated Resource Conservation Planning Program Policies

Multijurisdictional Planning Procedures

This activities includes conservation planning approaches which do not result in the Department authorizing the take of listed species. These approaches emphasize cooperation between participating organizations because there are no associated statutory requirements regarding take of listed species. They all vary in procedures, depending on the specific situation, but they share the following common procedural steps. These steps don’t need to be followed in this order, but most efforts that are successful typically follow this approach (the Coordinated Resources Management and Planning Handbook contains more information on most of these steps).

  • Identify the Problem - Have an open discussion of what each participant perceives the problem to be from their unique perspective. Allow opportunities to redefine the problem over time.
  • Identify the Planning Area - Select a planning area that is both large enough to include all relevant ecological, economic, and social concerns that need to be (and can be) addressed to solve the problem, yet small enough to allow participants to focus on solving specific local problems.
  • Identify and Engage Participants - Involve those players who can either help solve the problem or potentially thwart the proposed plan of action. Recognize that participation can vary considerably, because not everyone can or wants to be involved to the same degree.
  • Develop and Carry Out a Communication Plan - Keeping all participants informed about the planning process, including tracking decisions and progress, helps build trust and minimize misunderstandings about the effort.
  • Identify Common Interests and Expectations, Shared Vision and Criteria for Success - Keep participants focused on identifying their specific interests and expectations, rather than their preconceived organizational positions. A shared vision helps maintain group momentum and focus and criteria for success help everyone track the overall progress of the effort and recognize their achievements.
  • Gather Needed Information - Compile data and information needed to assess the current status of natural resources as well as ecological, economic, and social constraints and opportunities related to solving the problem. Understand the relevant mandates, regulations, budgets, and staff realities of participating organizations.
  • Develop a Plan of Action - Develop a plan that outlines agreed-upon goals and measurable objectives, as well as participants’ roles and responsibilities and expected timelines. Written plans help clarify the project’s direction and avoid misunderstandings among participants at later dates.
  • Acquire Funding - Acquire the funding necessary to support both on-the-ground projects and planning costs (such as meeting facilitators, data collection, analysis, and reporting).
  • Carry Out the Plan - Conduct on-the-ground projects to implement the plan.
  • Monitor and Adapt - Monitor overall progress in achieving objectives, evaluate effectiveness and impacts of decisions, and adapt future actions based on new information.