Fish and Game Commission Strategic Plan

2018-2020 Strategic Planning

With the assistance of its stakeholders, staff, other state, federal and tribal governments, and its primary partner, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Commission began developing a new strategic plan in 2018.

The Commission held its first strategic planning meeting in February 2018, where staff provided information and context about the unique role of the Commission in natural resource management, and many environmental and social changes that have occurred since the 1998 strategic plan was adopted.

At its December 13, 2018 meeting, the Commission adopted a new vision statement to describe how the future will look if the Commission achieves its mission, and a new mission statement to identify the purpose and reason for the Commission’s overall work. Along with the revised statements, the Commission adopted a set of six core values that create a framework for establishing policies, goals, objectives, and strategies. The Commission committed to revisiting the new statements and core values in the third and final stage of developing a new strategic plan.

Work on the final stage of the strategic plan was put on hold in early 2020. The Commission looks forward to continuing its strategic planning efforts in the future.

Mission Statement

The mission of the California Fish and Game Commission, in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is to provide leadership for transparent and open dialogue where information, ideas and facts are easily available, understood and discussed to ensure that California will have abundant, healthy, and diverse fish and wildlife that thrive within dynamic ecosystems, managed with public confidence and participation, through actions that are thoughtful, bold, and visionary in an ever-changing environment.

We embrace our responsibility to hold California’s fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public trust, as well as their cultural and intrinsic value, and therefore work collaboratively with other federal, tribal, state and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the people of California to establish scientifically-sound policies and regulations that protect, enhance and restore California’s native fish and wildlife in their natural habitats, and to secure a rich and sustainable outdoor heritage for all generations to experience and enjoy through both consumptive and non-consumptive activities.

Vision Statement

The vision of the California Fish and Game Commission is a healthy, biodiverse and natural California in which native fish and wildlife thrive within dynamic ecosystems and inspire human interaction and enjoyment.

Core Values


We hold ourselves to the highest ethical and professional standards, pledging to transparently fulfill our duties and deliver on our commitments to protect and hold California’s fish and wildlife and their ecosystems in the public trust, to ensure consistency of expectations and outcomes. We ensure that our choice or order of decision-making does not arbitrarily prioritize one interest group over others. We hold ourselves accountable to act in accordance with our values and code of ethics, even when it is difficult. Our actions reflect honesty, truthfulness, respect and accuracy.


We recognize the important and wide-ranging impacts the Commission’s decisions have on California’s wildlife, wildlife habitat and residents, and that these decisions should be made based on a variety of inputs in an open, inclusive and public process that solicits a diverse set of perspectives. We strive to communicate with our partners, our stakeholders and the public responsively and openly about how and why decisions are made. We use adaptive processes and consistently gather as much information as possible to ensure the Commission is best informed for thoughtful decision-making, while acknowledging that decisions are most often made with incomplete information.


We respond to the ever-changing natural and human environments by evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of our decisions and processes, identifying new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom and historical biases, and seeking opportunities for innovation. We recognize that innovation always involves some element of risk, and that creative problem-solving and implementing forward-thinking solutions where value is added is key to meeting the constantly evolving needs of our stakeholders and California’s fish and wildlife. We take time to frame challenges, adapt, and execute new and useful ideas, including applying advances in sound science, evolving concepts of wildlife management, and public values toward wildlife in new and bold ways. We encourage novelty, creativity and flexibility as we proactively meet challenges and problem-solve.


We value collaboration, including teamwork and partnerships, in problem-solving and in developing policies and regulations. Teamwork is actively fostered and is one of the main ways we function. Collaborative efforts extend beyond the Commission and its staff to empower a diversity of stakeholders, other federal, tribal, state and local agencies, non- governmental organizations, and the people of California to participate in our problem- solving and decision-making processes and, where appropriate, engage in working groups that are inclusive and transparent.

We pursue productive and considerate partnerships, rather than relationships solely based on a formal legal agreement, and celebrate one another’s successes as we take them to the next level together. A partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement that leverages resources to achieve shared goals between and among the partners, based on mutual respect, open-mindedness, trust, and genuine appreciation of one another’s contribution. Our primary partner is our sister agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


We pursue quality, proactively assessing performance and striving to continuously improve the delivery of fair and accessible services, work products and decisions, as well as the efficiency and cost-effectiveness with which these are delivered. We are committed to being and delivering the best, and are diligent about creating better ways of doing what we do. We take pride in our efforts and what we make possible. We approach every challenge with an expectation and determination to succeed.


We hold the state’s wildlife and their habitats and ecosystems in trust for the public, respecting that they have intrinsic value and are essential to the well-being of all California residents. We give attention to the environmental and human stressors, including climate change, development and other threats, that affect the resilience and health of our wildlife and their habitats and ecosystems. We use credible science, evolving concepts of wildlife management, and public values toward wildlife to evaluate programs, policies and regulations that will help achieve our stewardship goals. We recognize the dynamic nature of and stay abreast of changes in science, and that it should include the evaluation principles of relevance, inclusiveness, objectivity, transparency, timeliness, verification, validation and peer review of information as appropriate.

December 1998 Strategic Plan