This Plan contains the key strategies that will
guide the FWC over the long term and sets forth the behaviors that
are essential to successfully achieving our mission. We have taken
this long-term view to better ensure the conservation of Florida's
fish and wildlife resources.
We are expanding the role of management to place greater
emphasis on management through leadership, education and influence.
Under this approach, people do what is best for fish and wildlife
of their own volition, rather than by the threat of regulatory or
Regarding the work itself, we want to move from reacting to
situations to being more proactive. This entails identifying and
working on emerging issues before they overtake us. We are intent
on moving from single focus planning where one division or office
works on an issue to planning that brings all relevant disciplines
of the agency to bear in a coordinated way. We want to keep our eye
on the bigger landscape.
A shift in
the direction we are going on two fronts is fundamental to this
Plan - how we manage the resource, and how we do our work. Over the
next 15-20 years we want to move away from management driven
primarily by rules and regulations to where others help us conserve
the resource because of our leadership and influence. This kind of
influence is one where others do right by fish and wildlife of
their own volition rather than by the threat of regulatory or
enforcement actions by us.
Regarding work itself, we want to move from reacting to
situations to being more proactive. This entails identifying and
working on "emerging" issues before they overtake us. We also want
to move from a single focus planning approach where single
divisions or offices work on an issue to bringing all relevant
disciplines of the agency to bear in a coordinated way, and doing
so with an eye on a bigger landscape-level view.
Powered by science-based leadership, we will create a
sustainable and healthy future for Florida's fish, wildlife, water
and habitat resources.
FWC envisions a future where the people who live in or visit
Florida care for and contribute to the stability of our fish and
wildlife resources and the quality of our environment. FWC will be
the recognized leader in the science and management of Florida's
fish and wildlife. Residents and visitors will fully support and
fund efforts to maintain the resources that provide recreational
opportunities for fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and
To manage fish and wildlife resources for their long-term
well-being and the benefit of people.
To provide healthy resources for safe, satisfied customers.
This is the end result we hope to accomplish through our
In this section we lay out the
strategies we will employ to accomplish our mission. They are not
in priority order. Divisions and offices have plans that
specifically address implementation of these strategies.
Develop proactive, integrated research that anticipates emerging
issues and ensures positive resource outcomes.
Develop leading-edge resource management programs.
Develop proactive, preventative enforcement programs that enable
FWC to avoid potential and emerging problems.
Develop fish and wildlife recreation opportunities and programs
that foster resource stewardship.
Improve our resource leadership position by clearly
communicating where we are headed, why it is important, and how we
plan to get there.
Increase stakeholder involvement and interaction on emerging
issues to proactively reduce resource conflicts.
Initiate partnerships as a means of addressing the big resource
issues facing Florida.
Integrate human dimensions insights into management planning and
Human dimensions is about recognizing humans as part of the fish
and wildlife management equation and considering human issues in
management planning and decision making. Insights come from
understanding how people value fish and wildlife, how they want
fish and wildlife to be managed and how they affect or are affected
by fish and wildlife and fish and wildlife management decisions.
Activities involving human dimensions include social science
research, public participation, stakeholder involvement and policy
analysis. This strategy is about learning more about the human part
of the management equation and integrating those insights into our
management planning and decision making, including setting
objectives and designing management interventions.
Integrate our activities to better achieve sustainable
populations of species, protect critical habitat and high quality
Foster and develop the multi-disciplinary expertise of the FWC
needed to ensure strategic, integrated solutions that address and
solve resource problems.
Build a collaborative workforce built on professionalism, with
the skills and resources needed to maximize effectiveness.
Agency Code of Conduct
As we implement this plan, we will do so in a manner consistent
with the value we place on respect for the individual and
recognition of what teamwork, genuinely employed, can
Lead and Make Informed Decisions
FWC leadership is about: creating a vision, aligning agency
resources to accomplish the vision, and empowering people to do the
work. We will work with our employees, customers and stakeholders
to set the vision for Florida's fish and wildlife future, align the
resources and empower people to make this vision a reality.
These, in no order of priority, are our guides.
Balance the needs of citizens with the needs of the resource,
putting the resource first in our decisions and actions.
The paramount objective of resource management decision-making is
to maintain the long-term well-being of the fish and wildlife
resources of our state for the benefit of our citizens. We seek to
base decisions on the best information available, including
biological, sociological, economic, cultural, historical and other
information deemed relevant by the Commission. The biological basis
for decision-making includes stock assessments, biological surveys,
management plans and other science-based studies or
With respect to harvested populations, we seek to permit reasonable
means and quantities of harvest, consistent with optimum
sustainable populations. Optimum sustainable populations shall mean
the highest degree of population productivity within available
habitat to sustain fish and wildlife for the long term use or
enjoyment of citizens.
Make resource decisions based on the best available science with
a balance of enforcement and management practicality.
Our goal is effective decision-making at all levels of the FWC. We
believe that decisions should be guided by objective scientific
information and that subject-matter experts are integral in framing
Decision-making can be broadly categorized as: (1) operational or
programmatic, (2) public policy development, and (3) regulatory. It
should be recognized that all FWC employees are expected to have a
role in making operational or programmatic decisions. This
perspective is reflected in our desire to push decision-making to
the level closest to the issue. To do this, agency leadership must
facilitate informed decision-making rather than making all of the
decisions. The process is to: (1) delegate more decisions, (2)
identify the appropriate level for making the decision, and (3)
convey any constraints, terms and conditions that should be
considered when making a decision. If successful, this will break
the decision bottlenecks and improve the timeliness of
Decision-making related to public policy development and
regulations is the prerogative of the Commissioners. In formulating
these decisions, the Commission must assess and evaluate a broad
array of data and information based on biological science, social
science, and public preference. The role of FWC employees is to use
the best available science to recommend baselines, thresholds, or a
range of values that will serve as the constraints for
decision-making. In doing so, it needs to be recognized that many
decisions are made with incomplete or less than perfect science and
that some decisions are time-sensitive. The desired outcome is to
use science to provide the framework within which decisions are
Make consistent, thoughtful and timely decisions that keep pace
with the needs of the resource.
Seek first to influence others rather than regulate them.
Develop collaborative approaches to address conservation needs.
Be proactive in our actions, anticipating emerging issues and
getting out in front of them.
Being proactive means recognizing our responsibility to make things
happen. It's taking the initiative and getting out in front of
issues before they run us over. It means identifying potential
issues and acting upon those most likely to need our attention
soonest. By being proactive, we are better able to commit time and
energy to our priorities and do less "fire-fighting".
Adopt a landscape or big picture approach that uses
interdisciplinary teams to address complex resource-management
The Landscape or Big Picture perspective recognizes that we cannot
examine or manage complex systems one component at a time. We must
focus on how species, habitats, and human influences are
inter-connected, in addition to understanding specific attributes
of each. Our perspective cannot be restricted to a specific
temporal or spatial scale and must take into account the actions of
other agencies with missions that potentially overlap FWC's. There
are institutional and ecological components to this perspective. We
cannot accomplish our mission without understanding how our
decisions fit into and integrate with those of other natural
resource agencies. Also, we must understand how our management
actions impact the structure and function of natural systems as a
whole with humans considered as part of those systems.
Effectively involve citizens and staff who are closest to an
issue in the decision-making process.
Use teamwork and collaboration to integrate our work
Integration is the act of forming into a functioning or unified
whole (Merriam-Webster Online dictionary). Prior to Restructuring
in 2003, we had merged but not integrated. In the Restructure we
achieved some integration by combining like functions together in
divisions and offices. Examples: we had licensing & permitting
in 3 divisions and an office. But this only gets us part way to
full integration teaming, i.e., working in cross-functional
groups, gets us the rest of the way.
When you look at our Agency-level and DOI plans, a lot of our work
is cross-functional, i.e., cuts across more than one DOI (remember
each DOI has a different function, e.g., enforcement, research,
habitat & species management, etc.). So we want staff available
to work on whatever work is most needed and that they could
contribute to, in effect, making them available to the entire
organization. Teams are an important way to do this.
That said teamwork is more than just being on a formal team.
Teamwork is also about all of us working together to plan and to
implement because we can do a better job if we bring all FWC's
expertise to bear. We want to use our multi-disciplinary strengths
to create better decisions and better results.
As you make decisions, think who else other than me is affected by
these decisions and who among those affected needs to be aware of
or involved in them? Here's the checklist:
- Do you need the assistance of others? Do others need your
- Does your work significantly affect the work of others?
- Do others depend on your output?
- Has everyone affected by your work been informed and involved
in the planning process?
Figure out who you need to integrate with and do it. Use DOI
operational priorities as a guide.
Communicate well up and down the organization, across the
organization, and externally with others.
Communication is about exchanging information
clearly, concisely and with no loss of content or meaning. We use
the term "3-Dimensional communication" to refer to communication up
and down your division, office, or institute chain of command,
across divisions and offices, and from FWC to those outside FWC.
FWC staff tells us we need to do a better job of listening to their
issues and letting them know they have been heard. Communication is
a two-way street: don't forget to listen. You have to take some
initiative. Speak up when you have issues and come with ideas on
Provide Excellent Service
Providing the best possible service to the public and one
another is essential to gathering
the support we need to achieve our mission. These, in no order of
priority, are our guides.
Provide consistent, high-quality service to citizens.
To achieve our mission we must have the support of our citizenry.
An essential element of building this support is to provide
excellent customer service.
To provide high quality customer service means that we will always
listen, treat each other and the public with patience and respect
and explain the reasons for agency actions, rules and regulations.
It also means striving to make complying with agency requirements
such as obtaining permits as convenient as possible. A commitment
to customer service builds support and improved compliance even
when customers disagree with agency actions.
Remember: customer contacts are moments when a person's opinion of
us is formed. These contacts should be as positive an experience as
possible, regardless of who initiates them or how the contacts
Be collaborative and
respectful in interactions with fellow employees.
A spirit of collaboration is an essential ingredient of successful
integration. This collaborative spirit is built by treating one
another with courtesy, patience and respect and by exhibiting
fairness, compassion, and honesty in all we do. We can each work to
build this collaborative workplace by promoting cooperation and
teamwork to meet goals, by mentoring employees and by acknowledging
and taking pride in each other's successes. When problems occur, we
must work to maintain open lines of communication and strive to
solve them in a proactive, positive manner.
Seek input from and listen to citizens; understand and try to
meet their needs.
Understanding the knowledge, opinions, motivations, needs and
expectations of stakeholders and customers is vital to successful
conservation strategies. Asking, listening and involving citizens
early and regularly is critical to developing and implementing
successful projects and effectively addressing issues before they
become intractable problems.
Proactively engage stakeholders and management partners in
planning and decision-making; strive to continuously inform
affected parties of plans and actions.
Work with all parties on issues in a fair and balanced way;
create forums for dialogue and seek the middle ground. Focus on
conflict resolution and collaboration.
An important component of our future stakeholder relations is to
stop taking stakeholder issues on as our own. A stakeholder issue
may or may not rise to the level of being an agency issue. We will
create an environment where stakeholders represent their interests
to each other rather than FWC staff trying to represent them. Our
role needs to be one where we bring the parties together and create
an environment where the parties can work toward issue resolution.
Each stakeholder is responsible for presenting and arguing for
their own point of view.
Partner with others.
Given the realities of future state budgets, partnerships are where
we should look for more human and dollar resources for projects.
While it's nice to be able to do it all ourselves and to control it
ourselves, that greatly limits what can get done and our Mission
We value the power of partnerships. We seek to build partnerships
with other agencies and organizations to leverage limited
resources, to achieve better resource outcomes and to provide
better services to the public.
Stakeholders are a big part of how we can move to being more
influential. Through stakeholders we can positively impact fish and
wildlife conservation in ways that go well beyond our limited legal
Partnerships result in more resources going towards our projects
than we alone can provide. We're sharing other people's resources
to get the job done. And, it's the same for the partner, i.e., they
are getting more resources to get their job done, too. It's that
we've agreed on the same job.
Healthy partnerships lead to partners making decisions and doing
agreed upon work with their staff and dollars.
- Communicate the reasons for our actions and state a consistent
FWC point of view (speak with one voice).
We have to do a better job of communicating among ourselves and
with the public so we all understand where we are going, why, and
what we're doing to get there. And when we communicate we need to
all "speak with one voice", i.e., all have the same message on a
given issue so the recipients of the messages are not confused by
different variations of the message. Communication is a 2-way
street: don't forget to listen.
- Continually improve agency processes, operations and
Given the limited resources we have to accomplish our Mission, we
need to use them wisely and well. This involves: (1) being
innovative in our problem solving, (2) evaluating priorities and
adjusting them as needed, and (3) continually improving in what we
do and how we do it.
Improvements in processes can free-up resources to devote to other
Annual progress in implementing this plan will
be measured against agency goals, objectives and outcome