Every 10 years, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife updates the State Wildlife Action Plan to ensure a sustainable future for California’s diverse plant and animal species. When conservation actions identified in the SWAP 2015 update required partner support and extensive institutional resources to implement, CDFW chose Blue Earth Consultants to coordinate stakeholders in developing collaborative frameworks to help manage ecosystems across California and an operations strategy for leveraging partners and resources to implement SWAP 2015.
Blue Earth Consultants coordinated expert stakeholders across sectors to produce Companion Plans that built on SWAP 2015 in nine sectors: agriculture, consumptive and recreational uses, energy development, forests and rangelands, land use planning, marine resources, transportation planning, tribal lands, and water management. We facilitated meetings within each sector to elicit aligned conservation priorities and strategies for SWAP 2015 implementation, then built buy-in across stakeholder groups by managing an expert and public review process. Through this process, we helped promote multi-partner cooperation, identify opportunities to leverage human and financial resources, and strengthen partner capabilities for managing and conserving California’s natural and wildlife resources. We also provided essential capacity to CDFW by facilitating the development of an operations strategy and governance plan for SWAP 2015. The strategy included objectives, governance and staffing arrangements, an assessment of potential donor partners, and a plan for pilot testing a new partnership approach. The strategy launched the SWAP initiative and operationalized SWAP 2015’s goal of enhancing the viability of ecosystems through interagency collaboration.