Detailed Information on the
Fish and Wildlife Service - Migratory Bird Management and Conservation Assessment

Program Code 10002354
Program Title Fish and Wildlife Service - Migratory Bird Management and Conservation
Department Name Department of the Interior
Agency/Bureau Name United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Competitive Grant Program
Assessment Year 2008
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 88%
Program Management 90%
Program Results/Accountability 53%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $40
FY2008 $42
FY2009 $56

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Complete the independent, programmatic evaluation of the entire program in 2008 by outside contractor (WMI), and implement follow-up actions as necessary.

No action taken Submit draft and final copies of the evaluation to OMB. Develop and implement follow-up actions as necessary to address the recommendations and issues provided by this review, and continue to conduct full program reviews every 3 years or more often if necessary.

Update annual performance goals and add new performance goals that reflect broader program performance trends and actual program performance toward long term outcomes.

Action taken, but not completed

Improve linkage between program performance and individual performance plans.

Action taken, but not completed

Establish in FY09 baselines and ambitious targets for new annual and long term performance measures added in 2008 PART. Fully integrate the project data base in tracking these measures.

Action taken, but not completed

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Make available to OMB the processes used by the Service to connect the operational plan to program performance and annual budget submissions.


Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percent of all migratory bird species that are at healthy and sustainable levels.

Explanation:This long-term measure reflects the long-term outcome of the efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Migratory Birds Program in conjunction with many other governmental and non-governmental efforts. The percent of bird species that are at healthy and sustainable levels (numerator) is defined as: (1) those non-game migratory bird species that are not on the FWS Birds of Management Concern List (BMC) and (2) in the case of game species (which are all considered of management concern), those for which the populations are at desirable management conditions. The total number (912) of migratory birds in the united states (denominator). These birds are identified in the Federal Register at 50 CFR 10.13. The BMC list contains the Birds of Conservation Concern (BCC) list. The BCC list is prepared every 5 years. The measure is keyed to the BCC list and is why this is measure can only be measured every 5 years. The BCC list was last produced in 2008 and will not be produced again until 2012.

Year Target Actual
2004 baseline 61.2%
2008 61.7% 61.2%
2013 62.3%
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percent of adult Americans who participate in bird-related recreation.

Explanation:This long-term measure reflects the long-term outcome of the efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Migratory Birds Program in conjunction with many other governmental and non-governmental efforts. The measure reflects the results of these joint and combined efforts to improve migratory bird conservation through recreation such as bird-watching, hunting, and other outdoor bird-related experiences and opportunities for the continuing benefit of the American people. The data to report on this measure is collected, analyzed, and published every 5 years by the Departments of Interior and Commerce, and the Census Bureau as the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The most recent survey was published in 2006, however, the program did not set a goal for 2006 previously. The next report is to be released in 2011 and is why this measure can not be reported on every year but rather only every 5 years.

Year Target Actual
2013 29%
2006 intermediate measure 28.9%
2001 baseline 29.8%
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of management actions taken annually that address those focal species for which conservation plans exist or are under development.

Explanation:This is a new annual measure representing annual accomplishments and workload relative to the Focal Species Strategy, specifically established as a result of the 2004 PART review. It is aimed at measuring the proactive management actions taken to remove identified, priority focal species from the BMC. The number of priority focal species in the base covered by conservation plans will increase over time; however, our goal is to remove species from the BMC over time, creating a steady state level of effort. Also, as conservation plans are completed for the identified, priority focal species, management actions will drift in favor of implementation rather than developing new plans. The numerator for this measure represents the number of management actions expected to be taken annually based on historical trends data from the MB Project Database. The denominator represents the ambitious target of 4 management actions taken annually for each focal species conservation plan in existence. In the case of 2008, the MB Program currently has 23 focal species plans in place and our target is 69 management actions expected for the numerator over the goal of 92 management actions annually resulting in a 75% target. The same percentage applies to years 2009-2011; however, the number of management actions expected are greater in number as we anticipate that the Program will have 32 focal species plans in existence (resulting in a denominator of 128 and a numerator of 96.) By 2012, the MB Program will expect to achieve 3 additional management actions that year (resulting in a numerator of 99 over the 128 denominator) to help achieve the goal of removing 5 focal species from the BMC list, and addressing 6 additional focal species.

Year Target Actual
2008 75.0%
2009 75.0%
2010 75.0%
2011 75.0%
2012 77.3%
2013 77.3%
Annual Output

Measure: Percent of habitat needs met to achieve healthy and sustainable levels of migratory birds.

Explanation:This measure is a percentage calculated by taking the cumulative number of acres of bird habitat needs that have been met within the Joint Venture areas (numerator) divided by the total number of habitat acres needed that have been identified in the Joint Venture areas (denominator). These bird habitat needs are developed through individual species plans as well as through the four major bird plans.

Year Target Actual
2004 baseline 40%
2005 41% 41%
2006 43% 46%
2007 58% 52%
2008 52%
2009 56%
2010 56%
2011 57%
2012 58%
2013 58%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Acres of wetland restored per million dollars expended.

Explanation:This efficiency measure assumes restoration cost only, does not include land acquisition. Projects are selected by a Council of partners who are looking at the most important habitat conservation benefits that will be achieved. In addition, the number, type, and size of projects varies tremendously from year to year, and the majority of these projects are accomplished by partners. Both of these factors affect the Service's ability to improve efficiencies. The program will continue to use this measure as well as a new efficiency measure developed during the PART.

Year Target Actual
2005 17,139 17,139
2006 16,303 16,303
2007 8,366 8,366
2008 2,190
2009 2,228
2010 2,394
2011 1,195
2012 1,195
2013 1,195
Annual Output

Measure: The percent of management actions necessary to support sport hunting or falconry for those species and/or populations formally approved by international treaties and authorized by regulations.

Explanation:This measure replaces the previous annual output measure associated with bird-related recreation activities in that it more appropriately focuses efforts on improving abilities to manage take so that these migratory bird species and/or populations retain their long-term health and sustainability. Identified management needs, such as the development of adaptive approaches to managing regulated harvests or improvements to basic monitoring and assessment capabilities, are reflected in annual performance.

Year Target Actual
2007 Baseline 80%
2008 81%
2009 82%
2010 83%
2011 84%
2012 85%
2013 86%
Annual Output

Measure: Number of management actions taken to reduce the incidental take of Migratory Birds.

Explanation:Many of the tasks implemented by the MBP benefit a very broad sweep of birds beyond those identified as either focal species or as BMC. This measure is a placeholder and under construction, so baselines have not been established for these targets. Management actions currently documented under this measure include: regulating take and use of protected birds; mitigating adverse impacts to birds from development projects (wind power, tall buildings, communication and/or powerlines) or from consumptive resource use (by-catch); preparing incidental take guidance; and, providing technical assistance to our partners.

Year Target Actual
2008 5
2009 5
2010 5
2011 5
2012 6
2013 6
Annual Output

Measure: Number of management actions taken that annually address Birds of Management Concern, excluding focal species actions addressed in the above measure.

Explanation:As described in the Migratory Bird Program Strategic Plan, the Birds of Management Concern are a subset of species protected under the MBTA that pose special management challenges due to a variety of factors. The Service has placed a priority on addressing these management challenges for 10 years (2004-2014). This measure establishes ambitious baselines and targets relative to addressing migratory bird population and habitat needs for birds other than the identified focal species addressed above. These actions are not tied to priority focal species or to particular birds on the BMC; however, management actions taken will benefit other birds on the BMC. The annual target would remain flat for several years, but represents new actions annually. In 2012 the additional 3 management actions estimated are based on benefits to birds on the BMC needing increased attention due to external factors, such as climate change or habitat loss. Cumulatively, the actions are meant to address an increasing portion of the overall list of over 6,000 management needs for all BMC over time.

Year Target Actual
2008 21
2009 21
2010 21
2011 21
2012 24
2013 24
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Percent of permits processed within 30 days from date complete application is received by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Explanation:This measure will help ensure that permits are quickly processed and that processing time becomes quicker and more efficient. (Baseline and targets under development.)

Year Target Actual
2009 Baseline

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: Yes. The Migratory Bird Program's (MBP) mission is to conserve migratory bird populations and their habitats for future generations, through careful monitoring and effective management.

Evidence: >Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) - 16 USC 703-712. >Migratory Bird Management - A Trust Responsibility. FWS brochure. >Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1980 requires the Secretary of the Interior to identify conservation measures to assure that nongame migratory bird species do not reach the point at which measures of the Endangered Species Act are necessary. (16 U.S.C 2912) >North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), Sec. 4401. - Findings and statement of purpose >Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) (114 Stat. 593, PL 106-247). >A Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds. The Service is authorized by more than 25 primary conventions, treaties, and laws to ensure the conservation of more than 800 species of migratory birds and their habitats (see Appendix 3 of Blueprint). *50CFR Part 10.13: Species protected under the MBTA

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Yes. Declining numbers of migratory birds and the adverse impacts on related economic and recreational activities resulted in international treaties and domestic laws to protect migratory birds. While some of the causes for bird declines have been adequately addressed (e.g., plume hunting, use of DDT), many new or recurring factors continue to adversely impact migratory bird populations and public benefits derived from healthy bird populations. More than 400 species, subspecies, or populations of migratory birds have been identified as Birds of Management Concern (BMC) due to listing under the Endangered Species Act, declining population trends, populations below desired levels, or overabundance that is potentially damaging to natural ecosystems or human interests. Reductions in habitat quantity and quality are primary causes of negative population trends, but pesticides and contaminants; invasive species; collisions or entanglement with human-made structures; and disease outbreaks also cause significant migratory bird mortality. For example, three out of every four grassland bird species have declined in abundance over the past 40 years, with significant population declines caused by loss or degradation of grassland habitat resulting from increased agricultural and energy uses.

Evidence: Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) - 16 USC 703-712>Migratory Bird Management-A Trust Responsibility. FWS brochure>Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1980 requires the Secretary of the Interior to identify conservation measures to assure that nongame migratory bird species do not reach the point at which conservation measures of the Endangered Species Act are necessary (16 USC 2912)>North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), Sec. 4401-Findings and statement of purpose>Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA) (114 Stat. 593, PL 106-247, Sec. 6101>A Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds, Appendix 4.>Migratory Birds of Conservation Concern list (http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/reports/BCC02/BCC2002.pdf)*NAWCA Progress Report (pgs 14-15, See Q1.5)*Important Facts about Habitat Loss and Birds - FWS Fact Sheet*A Message from Director H. Dale Hall*Climate Change and Migratory Birds - Notes prepared by E. Babij and R. Johnson for P. Schmidt for Directorate Meeting 10/2007*The impact of climate change on birds*The Waterfowler's Guide to Global Warming*Waterbird Conservation for the Americas*Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation*North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2004 Stategic Guidance*Birds of Management Concern (Appendix 4 -http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/mbstratplan/appendices.pdf)

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: Yes. The MBP is the only entity devoted specifically to the range-wide conservation of migratory birds. Many entities support or are involved in activities related to bird conservation, but no other agency, organization, or program, public or private, is designed to address the full range of issues, problems, and interests related to migratory bird conservation and management throughout their range. These other efforts complement rather than duplicate MBP efforts. Other conservation agencies/organizations have land and/or species conservation programs directed at or contributing toward healthy migratory bird populations or habitats. These programs, however, are generally more limited in scope either geographically or by species (or both). The FWS Refuge System and other land management agencies contribute to bird habitat conservation, but generally don't address habitat on private lands or outside the country. The FWS Partners program provides habitat conservation on private lands but not specifically for birds. Many state wildlife agencies have migratory bird programs but they are limited geographically and do not address range-wide needs or concerns. The USGS contributes to bird population monitoring and assessment but does not have the authority for promulgating regulations to ensure conservation.

Evidence: >The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918)*Draft independent programmatic review *50CFR Part 21* Waterfowl Population Status 2007*American Woodcock Population Status 2006*Mourning Dove Population Status 2007*Dove Workshop Summary of Results 2008*Status and Harvests of Sandhill Cranes*Conservation Action Plan for Black-footed Albatross*King Rail Conservation Plan

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: Yes. No major design flaws have been identified that would prevent the program from meeting program goals and objectives. The program uses a wide array of tools to achieve its mission and goals, such as land acquisition and easements, monitoring, and establishing hunting regulations. A 1997 Inspector General audit of North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant administration found no material weaknesses. The program is free of any serious GAO corrective actions or Congressional Oversight Hearings. The program has had no material weaknesses or reportable conditions identified as part of the annual audit of the Service's financial statements. Litigation involving the MBP has generally involved challenges to the scientific information used as a basis for management decisions. Ccourt decisions have continued to uphold the value and reliability of this information in support of informed decision-making in migratory bird management.

Evidence: >A Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds>Migratory Bird Treaty Act>>Review of Flyway councils >Summary of recent litigation*FWS Manual Chapters *Annual financial statement audit findings- FY2006 & 2007

YES 20%

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Yes. The MBP targets funds and activities directly to address its purpose to maintain healthy populations of migratory birds to benefit the American public. Program resources support 5 broad strategic plan strategies: population monitoring; assessment & management; habitat conservation; permits & regulations; consultation, cooperation, and communication; and recreation. Each strategy contains detailed sub-strategies which guide development of action plans, budget requests, and project proposals necessary to achieve overall program goals. Individual components have targeting mechanisms to ensure resources reach intended beneficiaries. For example, competitive grants selection criteria prioritize awards to projects that best address priority species, habitats, and conservation actions in intended geographic areas. Joint venture (JV) funding is allocated to individual JVs based on assessments of regional bird conservation needs. Population surveys for harvested species are prioritized to provide the information necessary to establish sound hunting regulations for those species sought by migratory bird hunters.

Evidence: >A Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds>*FY06-09 budget requests*NAWCA progress reports*2008 NAWCA and NMBCA application guidelines*Waterfowl Population Status 2007 (See Q1.3)

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: Yes. Current long-term performance measures are easily understood, and contain outcomes that both guide and meaningfully reflect the purpose on the program. Annual measures (as identified in Question 2.3 and 4.2) still need to be updated to adequately reflect program performance, especially as they relate to the long-term goal of improving the number of birds at healthy and sustainable levels.

Evidence: >Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds: Migratory Bird Program Strategic Plan 2004-2014 >FY2008 MBP List of Management Populations for Performance Measures (See Q2.3)*DOI Strategic Plan FY2003-2008*Focal Species Strategy fact sheet

YES 12%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: Yes. The program developed ambitious targets for long-term outcome measures centered around the percent of birds/populations at healthy and sustainable levels and the percentage of adult Americans who participate in bird related recreation.

Evidence: *Joint Venture implementation plan excerpts*FY 2008 MBP List of Management Populations (See Q2.1)

YES 12%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: Yes. During the previous PART process, specific annual output performance goals were developed, consistent with the program strategic goals, to measure the effectiveness of the various components of the program in achieving long term outcomes. For those cases in which goals did not reflect progress toward long-term performance, MBP has made improvements to its measures that clarify progress made toward long-term goals. For example, MBP has incorporated additional performance measures for number of management actions implemented to address the need of birds that are not "focal species" as well as the percentage of management actions implemented for non-key focal species. Together with the current annual measures, a more complete annual account of MBP accomplishments towards improving the status of all migratory bird populations is apparent and will help better achieve the outcome goal of improving the percent of healthy and sustainable birds.

Evidence: >Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds, Appendix 5 *FY2008 MBP List of Management Populations (See Q2.1)*Proposed FY2006 ABC and DMBM Project Number Codes (MBP Project Database)*Focal Species Needs Database sample spreadsheet*FY 2008 MBP List of Management Populations for Performance Measures

YES 12%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: No. Baselines and ambitious targets for annual measures have been established for some, but not all of the annual measures. Baselines use a comprehensive list of management and habitat needs for Birds of Management Concern and Focal Species Action Plans. Annual performance measure targets are established each year based on long-term progress and the previous year's actual outputs. Wherever possible the Service should continue to link the MBP Project Database to its annual performance measures and work to make both current and revised measures as ambitious as possible. New annual measures developed this PART cycle do not have baselines and targets.

Evidence: >Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds, Appendix 5*Enterprise Planner Operational Plan database*Focal Species Needs Database (See Q2.3)*FY2006-2009 Greenbook tables (See Q1.5)*FY 2008 MBP List of Management Populations (See Q2.1)*2007 Fall Update Assessment*FWS Operations Plan Measures for MBP

NO 0%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: Yes. Partners generally support the overall strategic goals of the MBP and the 3 goals identified in the MBP Strategic Plan were accepted in the general sense by program partners. Program components have established partnerships associated with more specific MBP goals and objectives. At the international scale, the FWS has a longstanding history of working cooperatively with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to further program goals and objectives for managing this continental resource, thus meeting international treaty mandates in all 3 countries. For example, the National Flyway Councils are organizations representing all States and work cooperatively with FWS to develop annual hunting regulations that protect the breeding stock of all migratory game birds and that also provide recreational hunting opportunities to the public. JVs are partnerships comprised of agencies, organizations, and individuals that have accepted migratory bird population goals and related habitat objectives detailed in joint venture plans as a common purpose. Grant agreements for NAWCA and NMBCA include program performance measures in their reporting requirements. Grant recipients also must meet legal match requirements. However, partners support MBP program objectives by providing much more than the legally required match. Although NAWCA requires only a 1-to-1 match of non-federal to grant funds, in the U.S., each NAWCA dollar is matched with an average of $2.60. NMBCA, which requires a 3-to-1 match-to-grant ratio, produces about $4 in non-federal funds for every dollar awarded. The MBP serves as a focal point for developing and implementing regional, national, and continental bird conservation plans, including the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plans, the US Shorebird Conservation Plan, the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, and migratory game bird management plans for waterfowl, woodcock and doves developed by Flyway Councils. More recently, focal species plans have been developed to direct efforts more effectively to a select group of migratory birds of management concern. These plans present populations and habitat goals for priority species and represent commitments from and coaltions of federal, state, and provincial agencies, foreign governments, tribes, non-governmental organizations, industry, academia and private individuals. Each of the aforementioned plans have elements of the 3 Strategic Goals identified for the MBP incorporated into their comprehensive approaches to bird conservation.

Evidence: >See Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds in other questions >Director's Order 98 >Grants policies and assistance agreements*The US Shorebird Conservation Plan(See Q1.2)*Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plans (See Q1.2)*The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (See Q1.2)* Migratory game bird management plans for waterfowl, woodcock and doves (See Q1.2)*North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2004 Stategic Guidance (See Q1.2)*USGS-FWS Shared Performance Measure for Migratory Bird Conservation)*Focal Species Plans (See Q1.3)*U.S./Canada MOU*Flyway Council MOU* Trilateral: Mexico Waterfowl Surveys

YES 12%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Yes. In 2008 the MBP contracted an independent evaluation by Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) to review the efficacy of MBP. This review is expected to be of sufficient scope and quality, and will be repeated on a 3-year cycle or as needed to support program improvements and to monitor progress on recommendations emanating from the initial review. Other reviews conducted focus on specific aspects of the MBP help provide feedback on aspects of the program's efficacy and relevance. They include the comprehensive continental assessment of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; the independent science reviews of focal species conservation plans; an outside peer review of key components of widely-recognized population and harvest survey programs for migratory birds; an evaluation of Adaptive Harvest Management program by an outside Task Force; and a recent review by a body of independent statisticians and biometricians of population modeling procedures developed by MBP staff.

Evidence: >NAWCA programmatic evaluation >NAWCA evaluation grant summaries >NAWMP Assessment Framework >AHM Task Force >Permit Workload study >Permit Program Scoping Notice (63FR 42639; August 10, 1998)*WMI Audit Planning Worksheet*WMI Science Reviews*Review Procedures for Focal Species Action Plans*Procedures for Focal Species Action Plans to Meet the Requirements of the Information Quality Act*Peer review of the science relevant to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan Assessment (2006)*North American Waterfowl Management Plan: Continental Progress Assessment, Final Report (2007)*Plan Committee Management Responses to Continental Progress Assessment Report Recommendations (2007)*Harvest Survey Reviews*Delta Scaup Review*Adaptive Harvest Management Task Force Final Report *Draft of WMI's independent evaluation of the MBP

YES 12%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: Yes. The Service has taken a number of steps toward linking work activity costs to performance through its enterprise-wide performance and cost management system. While it is not always clear to transparently connect budgetary decisions to performance levels and priority-based decision making, the Service's budget requests are tied to the accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals. The Service uses its Operational Plan and its Activity-Based Costing (ABC) information as the basis for preparing budget requests. Recent budget requests have linked isolated budgetary increases to performance measures in various stages of budget formulation. There remain problems, however, with annual funding to long term goals that need to be addressed.

Evidence: >Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds *Mourning Dove Population Status 2007 (See Q1.3)*Dove Workshop Summary of Results 2008 (See Q1.3)*Waterfowl Population Status 2007 (Q1.3)*Focal Species Needs Database (See Q2.3)*Focal Species Conservation Plans (See Q1.3)*FY06-FY09 Budget Requests (See Q1.5)*Deputy Director's FY 2010 Budgeting process memo/3 attachments*FWS Operational Plan*Mapping Explanations for FWS Operational Plan*FWS 2008 Budget Justification-General Operations*FWS MBP Strategic Plan for Nongame Bird Conservation

YES 12%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: Yes. The Service completed a two-year effort to develop a long-term strategic plan for the MBP, which we continue to rely on today. The plan has guided our program since 2004 and will continue to guide us through 2014. The Strategic Plan identifies priority program needs, coordinates with partners on those priorities and needs, and provides linkages from identified priorities and needs to the current FWS and DOI Strategic Plans and GPRA measures, as well as to future budgeting activities. The MBP continues to rely on its Strategic Plan to guide its annual budget proposals and planning.

Evidence: >Blueprint for the Future of Migratory Birds*North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2004 Strategic Guidance (See Q1.2)*Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan (See Q1.2)*United States Shorebird Conservation Plan (See Q2.5)*North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (See Q1.2)*Strategic Habitat Conservation Final Report*American Woodcock Conservation Plan*Adaptive Harvest Management documets

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 88%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Yes. The MBP systematically collects annual work performance accomplishments that are certified correct by the Regional Directors and entered into web-based accomplishment tracking databases. In addition, each year reported accomplishments are compared to the performance estimates for that year and explanations for not meeting estimates for that year are documented. These data are integrated in the FWS Operational Plan and into annual budget justifications. Performance information from partners is documented in cooperative agreements that require accomplishment reports or confirmation of work completed.

Evidence: >Previously delivered in 2004 [June 1, 1998, Director memo re New Approach to Permitting >Permit scoping notice (63 FR 42639, August 10, 1998) >Proposed policy on General Conservation Permits (64 FR 58086, October 28, 1999) >July 11, 2001, Director memorandum re The permits Initiative and Request for Information >December 10, 2001 Director memorandum re. Status of the Service wide Permits Program Evaluation and >Call for a Plan of Action >Leaving a Lasting Legacy (permits vision document) >Permits Website fact sheet >Proposed Fee Rule (68 FR 51222, August 26, 2003)>Permit Workload Study] *FY06-09 budget requests (See Q1.5)*Focal Species Management plans (See Q1.3 and 2.8)*U.S./Canada MOU(See Q2.5)*Flyway Council MOU(See Q2.5)* Trilateral: Mexico Waterfowl Surveys (See Q2.5)

YES 10%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: No. Federal managers and program partners are partially held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results through annual performance plans that are indirectly tied to Program performance measures and annual outputs. Performance goals are included in performance plans, although the linkage to program goal achievement is not always evident. Performance appraisals do not show that program managers and staff are being held accountable for achieving program goals individually or collectively. In the future, the Service will work to strengthen accountability by improving connections between program performance and management. Other program partners hold grantees accountable for project cost, schedule, and performance results. Unmet performance by grantees results in payment modifications, project cancellation, and grantees being designated as high risk for future grants. Over the past four years, steps have been taken to ensure that relevant habitat-based performance measures are stepped down to the JVs. JVs are held accountable on an annual basis for reporting their accomplishments in meeting applicable PART performance measures.

Evidence: *Waterfowl Population Survey 2007 (Q1.3)*USGS-FWS Shared Performance Measure-Migratory Bird Conservation (See Q2.5)*Individual Performance Plans for AD, Division Chief-MBM, Branch Chief-MBM, Project Manager-MBM, Biologist--MBM*Individual Performance Plans for Asst. Reg. Director and MB Chief from Region 7, MB Chief and 2 Senior Biologists from Region 3*JV reporting form*DBHC grant agreement showing fund recission for non-performance*Playa Lakes Joint Venture Cooperative Agreement excerpts

NO 0%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?

Explanation: Yes. The MBP obligates its resource management funds in a timely manner in the fiscal year it is appropriated. For grant programs, approval for obligations are completed on a timely basis through a standard review and approval process. Obligation of these funds can take longer due to the peculiarities of the grants and grantees. To expedite this process, many of our grants are executed as unilateral agreements, making it possible to obligate the funds upon the sole signature of the FWS official. The MBP ensures that funds are expended for their intended purpose through end-of-year reporting requirements for GPRA, review of JV management plans and actions, reporting requirements instituted through the NAWCA and NMBCA grants processes, and financial reporting requirements that are regulated by 43 CFR and Treasury as related to reporting of costs and expenditures. The MBP also completes and participates in A-123 reviews; risk assessments for select processes; and review of undelivered orders. These reviews have found no material weaknesses or reportable conditions.

Evidence: NAWCA Programmatic Evaluations at http://birdhabitat.fws.gov/NAWCA/images/programmaticevaluation.pdf and http://birdhabitat.fws.gov/NAWCA/images/programmaticevaluationMX.pdf *FYFY06-FY09 budget requests (See Q1.5)*2008 NAWCA and NMBCA application guidelines (See Q1.5)*2005 and 2006 Risk Assessments for the Migratory Birds Program

YES 10%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: Yes. Program efficiencies are sought through consolidation of purchases and standardization of equipment, such as IT contracts. The MBP completed a permits workload study in 2002 to better determine the minimum operational needs of the permit program based on workload functions. That study remains a useful tool in annual budget allocations and output from the study is used routinely to improve the permit program. The implementation plan being developed for the MBP strategic plan includes a project tracking system to improve alignment of efforts with program priorities and strategic plan goals. In 2003, the MBP implemented unilateral grants and SMARTLINK, an electronic payment system, which increased obligation rate to 91% in 2003, improved the grant payment process, expedited delivery of federal funds to coincide with recipient outlays, and reduced paper invoices processed. NMBCA grants are applied for and reviewed entirely on-line, reducing paperwork and facilitating quicker review and responses. In addition, the program has two efficiency measures. The first, acres of wetlands restored per million dollars expended, is extremely difficult to measure efficiencies because of the variability between wetlands and the functions they serve. That is, one wetland is not necessarilly the same as the next so comparing them is along the lines of comparing apples to oranges. The second efficiency measure is a new one developed during this PART. The new efficiency measure is the "percent of permits processed within 30 days from when a complete application is received by the Service".

Evidence: >Permits workload analysis and follow up >Leveraging funds

YES 10%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: Yes. The MBP collaborates and coordinates with other FWS programs, other Federal and State agencies, and the public as the Program's mission extends across all partners that contribute to migratory bird conservation. For the FWS, MBP serves both as a resource for and a cooperator in joint projects. This collaboration extends to other Federal Agencies. The MBP also provides conservation opportunities in cooperation with North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) and other non-governmental organizations, and much of MBP's work requires the collaboration and assistance of States and foreign governments (NAWCA and NMBCA grants).

Evidence: >Executive Order 13186 (January 10, 2001) Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds >Partners in Flight Strategic Plan >The North American Wetlands Conservation Act ( 16 U.S.C. 4401 ) >DEIS on Resident Canada Goose Management >FEIS on Cormorant Management >Director's memo on Wind Energy >Leaving a Lasting Legacy*North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2004 signed by Secretary, Interior Minister from Canada and Mexico*Fostering Waterbird Conservation*Urban Treaty material for Chicago*Targeting Conservation Delivery on Private Lands

YES 10%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Yes. The program uses strong financial management practices in accordance with requirements established by the Director and implemented by the FWS Financial Management System. The FWS, as a whole, has received an unqualified audit opinion on its financial statements over the past several years. Independent auditors have identified no material weaknesses in the MBP. Also, the FWS annually conducts improper payment reviews and other reviews of key processes and internal controls, such as the annual A-123 reviews. From these reviews, individually and collectively, the MBP has no negative findings. The MBP also actively participated on the DOI working group (P.L. 106-107) for the purpose of ensuring compliance with current and changing Federal regulations and developing good management practices in the area of financial assistance.

Evidence: *Proposed FY2006 ABC and DMBM Project Number Codes (MBP Project Database, See Q2.3)*2005 and 2006 Risk Assessments for the Migratory Birds Program (See Q3.3)

YES 10%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: Yes. A previous Management Control Review of the NAWCA program identified 4 system design weaknesses dealing with grant processes, each of which has been corrected and resolved. Management processes and efficacy are evaluated by the MBP management team. The Team identifies issues and assigns responsibility for follow-through in a systematic manner. Also refer to the responses to Questions in Sections 1 and 2, in which the MBP seeks the input and review of outside entities to assist in maintaining QA/QC on products emanating from the MBP.

Evidence: >Workload analysis follow up report >Management control review and follow up >letters from Director to State agencies, citing need for State input and emphasizing placement of highest priority on activities related to the annual development of migratory game bird hunting regulations*Draft of WMI's independent evaluation of the MBP (See Q2.6)*Federal Register Notice about Service Regulations Committee Meeting for the development of 2008-09 migratory bird hunting regulations

YES 10%

Are grants awarded based on a clear competitive process that includes a qualified assessment of merit?

Explanation: Yes. NAWCA and NMBCA funds are awarded following highly competitive processes. Proposals are scored by panels of experts, and only the most meritorious are selected. 100% are peer reviewed; none are earmarked. Outreach for NAWCA has been conducted through Federal Register notice, Grants.gov, our publication 'Birdscapes', and through partner networks. The NAWCA Small Grants program is designed specifically to reach new awardees, and the majority each year are new. NMBCA outreach has been hampered by Internet problems, although partner networks such as the 'La Tangara' newsletter have been effective in Latin America. Since NMBCA is a relatively new program (2002), and covers a large geographic area, most awardees are new.

Evidence: * North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Section 5. Approval of Wetlands Conservation Projects. *North American Wetlands Conservation Act, United States Standard Grants, 2004 Proposal Instructions * NMBCA Grant Instructions *NAWCA Small Grant Evaluation Questions

YES 10%

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: Yes. NAWCA and NMBCA projects require annual and final reports that track both financial and programmatic activities, as well as quarterly reports of expenditures. All projects are subject to periodic desk monitoring (email and/or telephone contact with grantees) and a protocol and schedule for post award site visits has been developed.

Evidence: * Annual and final reports for a NAWCA project. * Annual and final reports for a NMBCA project. * Site visit report for a NAWCA project. * Site visit report for a NMBCA project. * SF272, Report of Federal Cash Transactions, for a NAWCA project * SF272, Report of Federal Cash Transactions, for a NMBCA project

YES 10%

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: Yes. NAWCA performance data are collected on an annual basis from grantees. These data are compiled every two years into a Progress Report, which is distributed widely and also posted on the program website. All projects are described on the program website as soon as information is available. The NMBCA is just two years old and although some site visits have been made to project sites, performance data are not yet compiled.

Evidence: * North American Wetlands Conservation Act Progress Report, 2006-2007. * On the Internet, go to http://birdhabitat.fws.gov/NAWCA/grants.htm. Click on 'Biennial Progress Reports'. Choose desired report.

YES 10%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 90%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: Large Extent. MBP has worked to incorporate ambitious long term outcomes into its planning process, and has achieved progress toward these. In the case of each goal, certain factors reflecting long term progress have not always been accounted for in annual planning (see 4.2), but the long term outcomes do demonstrated some progress, and remain indicative of the program's current performance. For example, despite its successful efforts in moving several bird species to "healthy and sustainable levels", the Service did not achieve its overall long term goal of 61.7% of bird species at healthy and sustainable levels because several other birds that were previously considered "healthy and sustainable" are no longer at that status. A new annual measure has been added to the program to help keep species "healthy and sustainable". The program's wildlife-recreation goal is for 2011 when the next National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report is released. Based on the 2006 report, the target is challenging and will require a concerted effort on the part of the program, the Service, and many partners to achieve the goal. Census data and Recreation report data was used in 2004, when the goal was set.

Evidence: Blueprint Document*FY2008 MBP List of Management Populations (See Q2.1)*Urban Conservation Treaties (See Q3.5)*Woodcock management documents (See Q2.8)*SMA Process


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Small Extent. Budget justifications and tracking of annual operational plan targets show that the MBP is meeting its annual performance goals. However, in some cases, these annual performance goals have not been reflective of actual program performance toward long term outcomes, and therefore have not adequately reflected broader programmatic performance trends. For example, the annual output goal of "Percent of bird population management needs met to achieve healthy and sustainable populations of birds listed on the Birds of Management Concern list" did not reflect needs relevant to species not on the focal species list that were in danger of no longer being "healthy and sustainable." This measure therefore did not reflect the overall long-term performance achievement referenced in 4.1. The Service has corrected this deficiency by refining current annual output goals to add a new output goal for non focal species bird management needs met (see performance measures).

Evidence: *FY06-09 Budget Request (See Q1.5)*Proposed 2006 ABC and DMBM Project Number Codes (MBP Project Database, See Q2.3)*Enterprise Planner FWS Operational Plan (See Q2.7)


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: Large Extent. Demonstrating improved efficiency with the program's existing efficiency measure (acres of wetlands restored per million dollars expended) is extremely difficult because of the variability between wetlands and the functions they serve. That is, one wetland is not necessarilly the same as the next so comparing them is along the lines of comparing apples to oranges. Where the data is available, however, it would appear there are efficiencies. Through the PART process, a new efficiency measure is introduced in addition to the old measure. The new efficiency measure the "percent of permits processed within 30 days from when a complete application is received by the Service". Achievement of the program goals is also more effective through the cooperation of many partners. These collaborative efforts decrease duplicative work and increase synergies among partners that allow pooled resources to create more effective and far-reaching results. However, while MBP has a number of processes such as this in place that allow it to make efficient use of its resources, the program still needs to refine its efforts to adequately capture these increases in efficiency or productivity.

Evidence: *FWS American Oystercatcher Conservation Plan*Trends in Duck Breeding Populations,1955-2007*Webless Migratory Game Bird Research Program selected projects*WMGBR Request for Proposals*Webless Migratory Game Bird Research Program Project Abstracts-2006


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: Large Extent. While there is no report that compares the program to other governmental or non-governmental programs that seek to achieve the same outcome or output goals, the MBP is viewed as a valuable resource in the bird community. Its expertise is highly valued for planning for and implementing bird conservation actions. The scale of MBP allows it to provide much of the bird data upon which management and conservation decisions are made, including permit and harvest decisions by the Service and its many stakeholders. The MBP provides leadership through game bird survey data and status and trend assessments, oversight of the four major bird initiatives, and focal species conservation efforts. Its recent focus on long term performance outcomes highlight its unique ability to coordinate policy related to bird conservation across the nation by allowing MBP and its partners to exchange essential data and work cooperatively to ensure various efforts are complementary.

Evidence: *State comments on Service MBP Strategic Plan


Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: Small Extent. The Migratory Bird Program contracted an independent evaluation of sufficient scope and quality to review the efficacy of the Service's Migratory Bird Program; This evaluation is currently ongoing. The MB Program intends to repeat such reviews on a 3-year cycle or as needed to support program improvements and to monitor progress on recommendations emanating from the initial independent review conducted this year by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). Other independent evaluations conducted for components of the MBP, including those conducted for the US/Canada North American Wetlands Conservation Act programs (2002) and the Mexico program (2003), concluded that the NAWCA is effective and achieving results in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The MBP's survey activities, including nationally and internationally recognized population and harvest survey programs, have also been examined independently to ensure optimal design, reliability, realistic objectives, and cost-effectiveness.

Evidence: >NAWCA Program Evaluation-Mexico >NAWCA Program Evaluation-US, Canada >Flyway Council System Review Report >Workload Study/Migratory Bird Program >Waterfowl Survey Review 1973 >Waterfowl Survey Review 1995 >Draft Report Congress, Federal Regulations & Unfunded Mandates, 2004*North American Waterfowl Management Plan Continental Progress Assessment Final Report (See Q2.6)*WMI audit planning worksheet (See Q2.6)*Draft of WMI Independant Evaluation of the MBP (See Q2.6)

Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 53%

Last updated: 09062008.2008SPR