The IASCD Board of Directors sent a letter to US Fish and Wildlife commenting on their revised Partners Program Strategic Plan. This plan will direct program operations in Idaho for the next five years from 2012 to 2017. The revised Strategic Plan will include modifications to their current geographic focus areas in Idaho, provide estimated annual project accomplishment targets, and describe anticipated conservation benefits to fish, wildlife, and plant species.
While some of their plan included soil and water conservation districts, many of the plans failed to mention the local soil and water conservation district. The Federal Land Policy Management Act requires US Fish and Wildlife Services to coordinate planning and implementation activities with state and local governments. Since Idaho state law identified the soil and water conservation districts as the primary entities in conservation, the IASCD Board of Directors felt Fish and Wildlife needed to follow federal law and coordinate any plans with the local SWCD’s.
Federal agencies not only need to be aware of local plans, but they also must consider those local plans as relevant to the issues during the planning process. For example, if an agency is developing a management plan for wilderness areas, and a local district has a plan that relates to the use of the area, the federal agency must consider the local position.
You can learn more about Fish and Wildlife’s plan by going to this website: http://www.fws.gov/idaho/Partners.html