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Action Development Meetings

 

In order to address the most significant threats and action drivers facing New Jersey's wildlife, specific corrective actions must be identified and prioritized. The 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) update seeks to build on what we, the conservation community, have learned and accomplished over the past decade in our efforts to preserve New Jersey's wildlife. The updated Plan will reinforce realistic, implementable and cost-effective strategies that have proven successful in addressing the threats that imperil wildlife or their habitats, while improving upon or re-prioritizing others. It will also respond to newer threats such as climate change and emerging diseases.

Action Plan Meeting In order to reflect on past successes and present needs as a community, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife collaborated with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) to host a series of stakeholder workshops in July 2015. The workshops invited participants to share their experiences and expertise toward developing the actions that will guide conservation of NJ's at-risk wildlife for the next ten years.

An invitee list was generated with input from the Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), the NJ SWAP Executive Committee, and CWF. The list included more than 460 fellow professionals from state and federal agencies, private organizations, research networks, land trusts and universities. Because of the wide breadth of knowledge and ground to cover (both topically and geographically), the Department chose to hold three separate workshops, each centering on a focal theme or landscape that might reflect the unique expertise or interests of specific participants. The CWF subcontracted with Terwilliger Consulting, Inc. to prepare materials and facilitate individual workshop discussions and exercises.

The first workshop focused on Policy and Planning actions and was held centrally at the Conference Center at Mercer County Community College on July 16, 2015. More than 50 people from 22 agencies and organizations participated. Participants formed smaller break-out groups, with each group tackling one or two categories of the previously identified threats/action drivers affecting wildlife. Participants were reminded that the threat categories presented were purposefully broad and not entirely detrimental to wildlife.

Indeed, many categories incorporated both benefits and threats to wildlife, or perhaps benefitted certain species or habitats while serving as a threat to others. The categories presented included:

  • Residential and Commercial Development
  • Agriculture and Aquaculture
  • Energy Production and Mining & Transportation and Service Corridors
  • Biological Resource Use & Human Intrusions and Disturbance
  • Natural Systems Modifications & Invasive/Problematic Species, Genes, and Diseases
  • Pollution
  • Resource Management Needs
  • Education and Outreach Needs

Each group also addressed climate change as an overarching threat that interacts with or compounds all of the other threats. The groups discussed an array of potential policy and planning-related actions to address those threats and recorded their ideas for the Department's subsequent review, refinement, and potential incorporation into the Plan.

The second stakeholder workshop focused on Habitat Management and Land Protection actions and was also held at the Conference Center at Mercer County Community College on July 22nd, 2015. At least 66 people from 32 agencies and organizations participated. At this workshop, participants broke out into groups to develop land protection and management-related actions addressing threats to wildlife. Groups were organized by general habitat type, including:

  • Forest
  • Young Forest/Shrub
  • Grassland
  • Wetland
  • Beach/Dune/Barren
  • Aquatic (Freshwater)

Each of New Jersey's 107 Focal Species had been matched with its primary habitat association prior to the workshop. As with the Policy and Planning workshop, each of the groups also addressed climate change as an overarching threat to habitat.

The third workshop focused on actions applicable to the Marine Environment and was held at Stockton University on July 27. At least 32 people from 15 agencies and organizations participated in that workshop to help develop the unique actions addressing marine wildlife and habitats.

All actions generated during the stakeholder workshops were entered into a spreadsheet by CWF and presented to the Department for incorporation into a database for our review and prioritization. Participation from this wide array of conservation partners and action implementers will not only make our Plan stronger and more comprehensive, it is also essential to focusing our collective limited resources on the actions that will yield the greatest benefits for New Jersey's Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
List of Stakeholders Participating In Action Development Meetings (pdf, 17kb).

Back to Wildlife Action Plan (WAP).

Please use the form below to submit comment on the Action Development Meetings only; there are separate comment forms for each aspect of the Plan. Make sure to complete fields that are designated as "* = required".
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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 1, 2016