Tribal Involvement In State Wildlife Action Plans


In 2005, all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia created State Wildlife Action Plains (SWAPs) laying the blueprint for conserving wildlife and habitats and preventing species from becoming endangered. Updated in 2015, SWAPs identified 12,000 species of greatest conservation need and estimated that $1.3 billion dollars is needed annually to implement the plans.


In the development of SWAPs, eight elements were required. These requirements include a responsibility to involve Tribes in the development, implementation, review and revision of the plan. However, Tribal inclusion in SWAPs varies. In some states, such as Idaho, Tribes are lead authors, but many Tribal fish and wildlife managers reported that sincere efforts were not made to encourage Tribal participation or that their input was not incorporated into the SWAP.

Tribes own or influence the management of nearly 140 million acres, including more than 730,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs, 10,000 miles of streams and rivers, and 18 million acres of forests. These lands and waters provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including more than 500 species listed as threatened or endangered. Fish and wildlife do not respect political boundaries. Tribal lands and waters are critical to the success of conservation plans outlined in SWAPs. This partnership also serves to benefit these conservation efforts through the inclusion of species of cultural importance and recognition of Traditional Ecological Knowledge.


NAFWS supports the meaningful involvement of Tribes in State Wildlife Action Plans through the following actions:

NAFWS Resources

Recovering America's Wildlife Act

More Resources

State Wildlife Action Plans
SWAP Elements
Blue Ribbon Panel Report
Tribal Engagement in SWAPs Presentation
Guidance to Incorporate Climate into SWAPS

Keep Me Informed on Future Projects

In Recognition of Their Support

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society would like to thank those organizations that provided us with support over the years. With them we grew an effective national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.

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