In 2001, Congress created the State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program to support state fish and wildlife agencies in conserving low and declining populations of fish and wildlife. A significant requirement of the SWG program, which emphasizes endangered species prevention, is that each state must produce a Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) and submit it for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval by October 2005. This DRAFT document provides a blueprint for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to pursue comprehensive fish and wildlife management.
This first draft of the WAP was created largely from recommendations and input provided by technical experts, conservation stakeholders and agency staff. It is important to note that this is a work in progress. Continual input, review and revision will be required to successfully develop and implement Pennsylvania's WAP. The Commissions urge interested individuals and organizations to join them in refining this Strategy. Please provide your comments on this Conservation Strategy.
The goal of the Strategy is to preserve Pennsylvania's native wildlife and habitats through proactive measures emphasizing voluntary and incentive-based programs. The Strategy is a non-regulatory effort designed to create partnerships, to identify needs and to implement actions at state and local levels. It is not intended to be a work plan for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, or any other organization; instead it is presented as a statewide overview of the integrated efforts needed to sustain wildlife and habitat.
Part 2 of the WAP, comprising Sections 11-22, summarizes the condition of broadly defined wildlife habitat types currently found in Pennsylvania. Although Part 2 is organized by broad habitat or land cover types, it is important to recognize that within broad habitat designations each species has specific and unique requirements. Losing any one component of a species' habitat can threaten its survival. Additionally, these essential habitat components must be accessible and arranged in appropriate configurations and proportions. Therefore, defining a species' true habitat requirements is a complicated process. Targeted habitat assessments that identify the specific attributes required by a species are necessary before landscape measurements or indices can be used to determine the relative habitat quality of a site for the target species. Pennsylvania's Wildlife Action Plan