The Agency of Natural Resources affects the lives of Vermonters in dozens of ways. Our work ranges from operating the State Parks system across all 14 counties to managing the wildlife species enjoyed by hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts to protecting the quality of Vermont's air and water.

This strategic plan is our Agency's chart by which we will navigate as we accomplish our responsibilities in the next five years. We at the Agency of Natural Resources encourage all Vermonters to read this document, in order to gain a deeper understanding of our Agency's work.

This document will guide us as we make decisions, set priorities, commit resources, coordinate with and support others, and measure our progress. We will carry out these responsibilities with a sensitivity for the relationship between the quality of Vermontís natural resources and the quality of our life, the health of our communities, and the vitality of Vermont's businesses and economy. We have expressed our goals, outcomes, and strategies always with these considerations in mind.

At the core of this five-year work plan is the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' mission statement, from which we define our comprehensive goals, our outcomes, and our strategies. The comprehensive goals state the four broad directions of our work; the outcomes enunciate what results we want to see as we achieve our goals; and the strategies are specific initiatives, undertaken at the department or division level.

This process flows in two directions. The mission statement is the starting point for defining all of our work. But our achievements -- the results of our work -- begin with the strategies. (See flow chart.)

This plan, like the Agency itself, does not exist in a vacuum. That we have decided to put more emphasis on one strategy than another may well affect many Vermonters. That's why this plan was written with extensive input from staff across the Agency's three departments and the Central Office -- including front-line staff members who know how their programs impact individuals and communities -- and from hundreds of Vermonters familiar with the Agency's work.

Development of this plan began at the department level. Each of the Agency's departments -- the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Central Office -- first wrote its own strategic plan. This involved scores of Agency employees from all divisions. These plans state the most important goals for each department.

Working from the department strategic plans, the Agency's Planning Team selected issues that either cut across department boundaries or are of such importance that they need to be highlighted in the Agency plan. While the front-line work of the Agency occurs through the departments, many of the resource, process, and customer service issues are larger and more complex than can be addressed by the individual departments. We address those issues in this Agency strategic plan.

We next invited several thousand Vermonters to review and comment on a draft of this plan. The comments were excellent, and we have revised the plan to reflect the suggestions received.

This is not a static document. Although the systems of the natural environment typically evolve slowly, some issues, such as the introduction of a destructive non-native species, can arise quickly. We therefore intend to review and revise this plan as we identify new issues of concern.

We invite you to become familiar with both the Agency and department plans, and to share your thoughts with us. If youíre interested in receiving copies of the department plans, you may do so through our website (www.anr.state.vt.us), or by contacting these offices:

Department of Fish and Wildlife
802-241-3700

Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
802-241-3670

Department of Environmental Conservation
802-241-3808

Agency of Natural Resources
Central Office
802-241-3600

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