Date of this Version
The Journal of Wildlife Management; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21391.
The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) has established a model for wildlife conservation planning over the last 3 decades. Management at a continental scale, leveraged funding, regional partnerships, and a strong science basis have been notable features. Periodic updates to the NAWMP occurred since implementation in 1986; however, a fundamental revision was accomplished in 2012 after extensive stakeholder engagement. An explicit fundamental goal for waterfowl conservation supporters was added in 2012, complementing existing goals for sustainable populations and sufficient habitat found in previous updates. We present a synopsis of progress toward implementation of the 2012 NAWMP and challenge the waterfowl management community to continue with meaningful steps toward achieving NAWMP goals. Adding goals and objectives for supporters increases potential relevance of NAWMP; however, it also presents a level of complexity that was not entirely anticipated. Additionally, the 2012 NAWMP recognized that traditional support from waterfowl hunters alone will not be sufficient to support waterfowl conservation in the future. Simultaneous consideration of multiple objectives, although implicit before, now is a specific focus for habitat and harvest management affecting hunters and other users of the waterfowl resource. The waterfowl management community is faced with revisiting objectives and management actions related to harvest regulations, landscape priorities, habitat conservation, and public engagement to garner broader support. These persistent management challenges are tangible and relevant candidates for greater integration. Ultimately, the structures and processes supporting waterfowl management also will need to be reconsidered.