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Strategic Plan FY 2013-2017

As part of our efforts to re-evaluate our core values, vision statement, mission statement, goals and objectives, the department spent the first six months of 2012 assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing KDFWR, the fish and wildlife resource, as well as hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts. In addition to consulting with our nine-member Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission, and to seek as much input as possible, KDFWR held nine different town halls/listening sessions with our employees, partners/stakeholders and members of the general public throughout the Commonwealth.

Challenges that were identified for the department during this process included:

  • Ensuring stable, long-term funding, which includes identifying more efficiencies in our budget; guarding against loss of federal funding, loss of boat registration and a continuing declining (or churning) license base; and mitigating large base of free licenses.
  • Promoting customers by overcoming aging user base, barriers to youth involvement (e.g. Hunter Education and other interests) sportsmen apathy and fragmentation; declining “tradition”; and identifying best method to incorporate non-consumptive users.
  •  Properly communicating the mission of KDFWR, the hunting and fishing heritage, and the reasoning and importance of regulations. This includes better communicating proposals; utilizing technology, educating the judicial and legislative system; enhancing fines to “meet the crimes”; Simplifying and reducing the changes to our regulations; and overcoming sensational outdoor shows that create unrealistic expectations.
  •  Providing sufficient access to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation, in the face of increased urbanization, Kentucky’s 94% private land “status”, lack of incentives for private landowners, and managing expectations for public land.

Most recently, the department posted a draft strategic plan online at for input, and specifically emailed this draft plan to all employees, commission members, conservation partner organizations and members of the Kentucky Conservation Coalition. We also posted the opportunity for feedback on KDFWR’s Facebook page. KDFWR accepted comments throughout the entire month of July and received more than sixteen hundred responses.

Based on input received since the beginning of this process, KDFWR has now finalized a new Strategic Plan to focus department efforts from FY 2013 to FY 2017. This plan was approved by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission at the August, 2012 meeting. 

Please see below to read the department’s new Strategic Plan, and continue monitoring this site for additional details concerning specific strategies, performance measures and results.

Core Values

The Department values:

  • The heritage of hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife-related pursuits;
  • Conservation and recreation partnerships;
  • Public participation and outreach;
  • Professional service, integrity and accountability;
  • Scientifically, environmentally and socially responsible resource stewardship; and
  • Sportsmen and sportswomen-nominated commission leadership.

Vision Statement  

The Department's ideal future will include:

  • Healthy and diverse fish and wildlife habitats and populations;
  • Abundant opportunities to safely pursue hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife-related activities;
  • Dedicated, long-term and ample funding sources;
  • Expanded partnerships in conservation and recreation; and
  •  An expanded user base that reflects Kentucky’s population without compromising our hunting and fishing heritage.

Mission Statement  

To conserve and enhance fish and wildlife resources and provide opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife related activities.

Goal 1: To conserve and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitats.

Strategic Priorities: KDFWR will strive to achieve this Goal by focusing its efforts on the following priorities:

1.1 Increase Small Game Habitat and populations. 1.2 Enhance response to aquatic invasive species (e.g. Asian Carp). 1.3 Enhance response to terrestrial invasive species (e.g. Feral Pigs). 1.4 Identify new streams for smallmouth bass population assessment and develop management recommendations. 1.5 Increase stream and wetland protection and restoration efforts, including (FILO) Projects. 1.6 Restore trout fishery (in the tail water) and walleye/striper fishery (at Lake Cumberland). 1.7 Enhance fish habitat. Goal 2: To increase opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildlife-related activities. ________________________________________ Strategic Priorities: KDFWR will strive to achieve this Goal by focusing its efforts on the following priorities: 2.1 Develop a new Landowner Incentive/Public Access Program. 2.2 Promote Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINS) and Hunting equivalent to provide access and opportunity to hunt and fish. 2.3 Develop a classification system that clearly identifies the level of active management that is occurring or will occur on state-owned or managed public lands. This will allow the agency to prioritize staffing, equipment, and work planning, as well as provide public knowledge for active management expectations. 2.4 Establish land acquisition strategy for acquiring WMAs and other public access areas in locations of need. 2.5 Seek and identify new funding source for multi-use public access areas (such as Otter Creek). 2.6 Renovate and improve existing shooting ranges and increase the number of new shooting ranges (firearms and archery) in areas of need 2.7 Evaluate and enhance quota hunt system for deer and elk. 2.8 Increase our ability to build and/or renovate boat ramps. 2.9 Increase our ability to establish new bank access sites. 2.10 Enhance Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial response to fish, wildlife and boating violations. Goal 3: To foster a more informed and involved public. ________________________________________ Strategic Priorities: KDFWR will strive to achieve this Goal by focusing its efforts on the following priorities: 3.1 Revamp Conservation Education program in school to generate more outdoor/more hands-on activities. 3.2 Diversify the number of venues in which KDFWR promotes itself, its efforts and its programs (Mobile APPS, Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, Commissioner Newsletter, website, truck wraps, Regulations). 3.3 Expand and coordinate the use of volunteers for department programs. 3.4 Establish “how-to” workshops. 3.5 Develop system for seeking, recognizing and promoting our partners. 3.6 Implement statewide legislative outreach initiative. 3.7 Facilitate increased coordination between agency and all sportsmen groups on department initiatives. 3.8 Simplify rules, regulations, website and guides. Goal 4: To secure ample, dedicated and long-term funding. ________________________________________ Strategic Priorities: KDFWR will strive to achieve this Goal by focusing its efforts on the following priorities: 4.1 Recruit, Mentor and Retain hunters and anglers (E.g. Increase capacity for conservation camps/mini-camps; Revamp Hunter/aquatic/boater; Expand KNOW, BOW, and other Adult Recruitment; Develop comprehensive hunter and angler mentoring program.) 4.2 Optimize our License Fees, Exemptions and Discounts for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related activities. 4.3 Research opportunities for, and develop as appropriate, a dedicated user pay system for documented vessels, kayaks and canoes. 4.4 Research opportunities for, and develop as appropriate, a habitat stamp or public land user-permit for specific customers. 4.5 Research opportunities for, and develop fee structure as appropriate, for technical guidance. 4.6 Increase corporate sponsorship opportunities to support department events, programs and services. 4.7 Develop a formal system to promote fundraising and donation opportunities for sportsmen and women and the general public. 4.8 Establish fish and wildlife merchandise consumer opportunities. 4.9 Implement new Point of Sale License Delivery System. 4.10 Re-establish the Legislative Task Force on Funding for Wildlife Conservation (to investigate and report on long-term funding options).