Leading Change

Leading Fish & Wildlife Agencies Into the 21st Century

State fish and wildlife agencies are struggling to address new and emerging conservation challenges while retaining core programs. Organizational transformation is a challenging endeavor, and it requires courage, knowledge, and partners. We have to change to keep up with the times without losing our history.

For more than 30 years, the Organization of Wildlife Planners has helped fish and wildlife agencies develop innovative strategies for meeting emerging challenges to fish and wildlife management.

Get Involved and Take Action!

Join the Network. Get in the loop and sign up for the transformation e-mail discussion list by sending an e-mail to Shawna Wilson (wildlifeplanners@gmail.com).

Participate in a Workshop. The Organization of Wildlife Planners regularly hosts workshops around the country, often in conjunction with other professional conferences and meetings. These workshops can help you develop the practical skills, professional networks, and inspiring ideas to help lead change in your agency.

Start the Conversation. Big changes start with a single step. Organize a discussion in your agency about the challenges facing wildlife conservation and how you can address them.


Leaders’ Guide – Transformation of State Fish and Wildlife Agencies: Ensuring the Future of Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World. (2011) (1.15 MB, pdf). This 58-page guide provides background information, case studies, and practical advice for leading the organizational transformation process in a fish and wildlife agency. If you read one publication, make it this one! To request hardcopies of this document, please contact Michele Beucler.

Jacobson, C. A., Organ, J. F., Decker, D. J., Batcheller, G. R. and Carpenter, L. (2010), A Conservation Institution for the 21st Century: Implications for State Wildlife Agencies. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 74: 203–209. doi: 10.2193/2008-485 (subscription required).

Decker, D. and Jacobson, C. A. (2010) State Agency Transformation: Cultural Change, Diverse Stakeholders, New Programs. Management Tracks, 24:2.

Decker, D. and Jacobson C. A. (2011) Organizational Transformation: The Roles and Nuances of Leadership. Management Tracks, 25:1

Kotter, J. Leading Change. (1996) Harvard Business School Press. Boston, MA