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Wednesday, February 19 • 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Developing a State-wide Wildlife Viewing Plan through Stakeholder Engagement

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The inclusion of the public in the planning processes of state and federal natural resource management agencies is increasingly necessary and. in many cases, required by law. Stakeholder engagement is believed to fulfill a normative imperative to include the public in the management of public resources; improve trust and understanding between agencies and their constituents; and produce more robust and informed decisions. However. planning mandates often provide little specific or practical guidance on how to design effective participatory processes (Brody et al., 2003). Additionally, a wide implementation gap exists between research on stakeholder engagement and the execution of engagement processes in practice (Talley, Schneider, & Lindquist, 2016). This gap represents a critical training need for natural resource agencies because when poorly implemented, stakeholder engagement can be counter­productive, resulting in disillusionment, entrenchment, and deeper mistrust on the part of both practitioners and the public (Reed, 2008). Strengthening agency capacity related to stakeholder engagement is particularly important as wildlife agencies turn their attention to groups of stakeholders they have not traditionally served. With R3 initiatives to recruit, retain and reactivate participants in outdoor recreation, state and federal wildlife management agencies have the potential to engage with new stakeholders in new ways. Given changing patterns in participation in wildlife recreation, birdwatchers and other wildlife viewers are key to growing constituencies for funding and otherwise supporting wildlife conservation. However, more actively engaging with and prioritizing the needs of these stakeholders challenges the norm of state agencies focused primarily on serving hunters and anglers. Effectively engaging with wildlife viewers will require creative thinking, new skills and collectively learning from experiences in other states. In this interactive training, participants will be introduced to a multi-faceted R3 planning effort with wildlife viewers in Virginia and will identify how insights from the process can be applied to their own approaches to stakeholder engagement.

avatar for Ashley Dayer

Ashley Dayer

Virginia Tech
Ashley is an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech and Affiliated Faculty with the Global Change Center. Her conservation social science research focuses on conservation behavior of wildlife recreationists, habitat... Read More →
avatar for Brian Moyer

Brian Moyer

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Brian currently serves as the Assistant Director of Outreach with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Prior to this position he served as the Recreation Program Manager where he was responsible for managing Virginia’s watchable wildlife program, public access... Read More →

Wednesday February 19, 2020 3:30pm - 5:00pm EST
Aurora Room

Attendees (2)