TRACS Review Underway

TRACS Review Underway

In July, WMI began conducting a thorough review and evaluation of the Tracking and Reporting Actions for the Conservation of Species (TRACS) system. This review, commissioned by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) is critical for the continued long-standing support for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program, which administers funds to states from the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Dingell-Johnson Act, and State Wildlife Grants, among others. This review is necessary in order to maximize the likelihood of achieving the common vision for TRACS among all partners and to minimize undue burdens placed upon the partners due to misinterpretation or miscommunication.

The evaluation and review of the TRACS system is intended to help the states and the WSFR program transition to this new system as partners by working out issues that are important to both parties. In part, the review will:

  • Define how TRACS can be used to support performance reporting.
  • Identify critical outputs and outcomes to measure that are responsive to stakeholder needs.
  • Define which of these outputs and outcomes are critical to success of projects and programs funded via the WSFR program.
  • Determine why these outputs and outcomes are important for success.
  • Review the use of effectiveness measures developed by AFWA for State Wildlife Grants and whether those measures are suitable for other WSFR programmatic reporting.
  • Facilitate productive continued development and implementation of the TRACS system.
  • Allow for a thorough understanding of the TRACS system, and its purpose and function, among all partner agencies and entities.
  • Develop a common vision and shared purpose and goals for TRACS as the national performance-reporting database for the WSFR Program.

This review will challenge the parties to objectively and critically review and evaluate their collective, essential needs as well as their ultimate wants for performance reporting; to develop a better understanding of the issues associated with the development and implementation of the TRACS system; and to evaluate the goals for the WSFR Program performance reporting, the purpose for those goals, what successful implementation of TRACS might look like, the obstacles to that success, and how those obstacles might be overcome. WMI hopes that this process will accomplish the mutually desired outcome of a common vision and shared purpose and goals for data reporting within the WSFR Program, such that continued development and implementation of TRACS may proceed efficiently and with a high likelihood of achieving its common vision. (jwg)

August 15, 2016