Who We Are

Photo by Madeline LeClaire Mitchell

The Organization of Wildlife Planners helps professionals in fish and wildlife agencies and organizations become more effective and successful.  Our focus is on managing PEOPLE, PROCESS, and SYSTEMS.

Established in 1978, OWP was borne from the need to develop a way of managing conservation work that embraced all of that work and its results as a fully-functioning whole.  Over the years, OWP has evolved into a network of process experts.  Our members have expertise in facilitation, planning, budget and finance, public involvement, performance measurement, human dimensions, communications, and marketing.

What we all have in common is the desire to make our organizations work better.

Our vision is to have

  • healthy, sustainable ecosystems in which fish and wildlife flourish
  • excellent fish and wildlife agencies
  • enthusiastic people participating in OWP
  • high trust and credibility of OWP

What We Do

Whether you are expanding agency funding, developing a management plan, aligning budgets with priorities, or simply want to run a good meeting, you’ll benefit from being in our network of process experts.

Our members tackle tough challenges:

  • How can my agency better address the intense scrutiny of customers, stakeholders, special interest groups, legislatures, and the general public?
  • How do I help my agency balance those expectations with biological realities and constraints?
  • How do I prioritize when everything seems a priority?
  • How can my agency address the impacts of climate change, urbanization, and technology on fish and wildlife management?
  • What does accountability mean in the age of social media?
  • How can my organization better partner with state fish and wildlife agencies to increase retention of anglers and hunters?

To tackle tough challenges, we openly promote the theft of good ideas among friends – OWP members help each other succeed through sharing, training, and services.


  • Expertise in facilitation, public involvement, and problem-solving design
  • More expertise in planning, project prioritization, and performance measurement
  • Even more expertise in human dimensions, marketing, and communications
  • Lessons learned, Q&A, and shoulders to cry on via the OWP email listserv
  • Workshops, often piggy-backed on another relevant conference
  • Articles, helpful links, book suggestions, and other resources on the website
  • Webinars
  • Management Tracks, our professional publication



  • Onsite and tailored to your needs
  • Facilitation design and support
  • Assistance with strategic planning, operational planning, and annual work planning
  • Public involvement design, facilitation, and support
  • Workshop design and support
  • Fees determined on case-by-case basis


The OWP is volunteer-based, collaborative in nature, and of limited fiscal resources.  The Executive Committee has the responsibility of organizational decision-making in the OWP.  It functions by consensus and consists of the officers (president, president-elect, treasurer, and secretary), the Organization Manager, and the past-president and past-past president.  However, when consensus cannot be reached, or urgency dictates, the President has the right to make a decision.