The Joint Venture concept was initially described in the first North American Waterfowl Plan (NAWMP) in 1986. The original NAWMP was an innovative document completed in cooperation between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service. For the first time, stakeholders collaborated to establish a set of common priorities, goals, and strategies for the benefit of migratory waterfowl and their habitats. NAWMP has been updated several times in the more than 30 years since the first version was published and now includes Mexico. Each update reflects the changing status of North American waterfowl species and development of new conservation methods and guidelines. The 2012 NAWMP revision expanded the focus to include people, such as hunters and other recreationists, in addition to waterfowl populations and habitats.
In December 2018, the 2018 NAWMP Update - Connecting People, Waterfowl, and Wetlands was published online. This update further explores the idea that waterfowl conservation depends on maintaining the continuing support and engagement of stakeholder communities. In light of the dwindling connections between people and nature, it’s important to focus on increasing numbers of hunters and other supporters of waterfowl and wetlands conservation so that the population and habitat accomplishments of recent decades are not lost. The revised plan also highlights some of the latest achievements of a number of Joint Ventures, including the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture’s efforts to increase the number of hunter-use days on public lands through strategic wetland habitat acquisition and protection.