Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Natural Resources (MNR)


Natural Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Frank Howe


Frank Howe


Shannon Belmont


Nancy Mesner


Law requires federal agencies to develop long-term strategic plans. Strategic plans define goals, objectives, and performance measures defining how the agencies and programs will reach their stated goals. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) develops strategic plans every five years. Each individual state develops a plan for their respective state. Those state plans are compiled for the region and become part of Regional Comprehensive Strategic Plan. The current strategic plan expires in 2021. States will begin the strategic planning process in 2020. In Utah, PFW staff will also begin developing a strategic plan for the years 2022-2026.

This document explains the need for a strategic plan, policy and laws guiding strategic plans, and program goals, objectives, and Program cornerstone concepts. Strategic plans must take into account human social and cultural perspectives.

Several factors go into a strategic plan such as funding targets, goals, and partnerships. One major component of these plans are the concept of Focus Areas. These focus areas determine where the Program focuses restoration and enhancement on the ground. Focus areas designation is developed using focal species and focal ecosystems as well as other criteria such as partnerships and private-public landownership. In this document suggested considerations for focus area development is provided.

This capstone report will provide managers with information and guidance important to the Utah PFW Program planning process. The goal of this document is to inform and enhance the strategic planning process in Utah. This document will be shared with other state and regional leadership in USFWS Region 6. This report summarizes the need for a strategic plan, states goals and objectives of the PFW Program related to planning, and provides strategic planning guidance not currently found in any one document.