Northeast Region SWAP Lexicon
In 2012, the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Diversity Technical Committee (a committee of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Directors) embarked on an ambitious project to develop a common framework for SWAP elements, particularly species, habitats, threats, and actions. One of the challenging aspects of this project was that states wanted to maintain a high degree of flexibility in crafting their plans, but also a high degree of consistency in the data structures used to satisfy the eight required elements.
After the committee did the groundwork research, we helped build consensus by iteratively documenting options and choices through distributed drafts and webinars, and facilitating a workshop at their annual meeting in 2013 where final discussions led to consensus.
The northeast lexicon provided:
- a menu of data sources most states planned to use in selecting SGCN
- a set of data fields used to demonstrate conservation need for each species
- adoption of the northeast wildlife habitat classification systems (terrestrial and aquatic)
- adoption of the IUCN threat classification system
- agreement on six measures of threat risk: severity, reversibility, immediacy, spatial extent, certainty, likelihood
- adoption of the TRACS action classification system
- agreement on a number of action descriptors: name, title, objective, general strategy, purpose, benefits, estimated costs, performance metrics, urgency, duration, longevity of results, likelihood of implementation, likelihood of success, constraints/other factors, implementing organizations, key stakeholders, location, detailed strategy.
The northeastern states followed through on their commitment to this data framework. While some issues arose during the SWAP revision process, states followed the lexicon as closely as they could, making it possible to investigate regional conservation priorities in 2016/2017.