Last Updated January 26, 2010
Partners for Fish and Wildlife
Providing technical and/or financial assistance for wildlife habitat restoration
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is a proactive, voluntary program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that provides technical and financial assistance to private (nonfederal) landowners to restore fish and wildlife habitats on their land.
The program emphasizes the reestablishment of native vegetation and ecological communities for the benefit of fish and wildlife in concert with the needs and desires of private landowners.
The Fish and Wildlife Service also enlists the help of a wide variety of other partners to help restore wildlife habitat on private lands. These partners include other federal agencies, tribes, state and local governments, conservation organizations, academic institutions, businesses and industries, school groups, and private individuals.
Projects consist primarily of habitat restoration and enhancement. Activities include, but are not limited to:
- Restoring wetland hydrology by plugging drainage ditches, breaking tile drainage systems, installing water control structures, dike construction, and reestablishing old connections with waterways
- Planting native trees and shrubs in formerly forested wetlands and other habitats
- Planting native grasslands and other vegetation
- Installing fencing and off-stream livestock watering facilities to allow for restoration of stream and riparian areas
- Removing exotic plants and animals that compete with native fish and wildlife and alter their natural habitats
- Using prescribed burning as a method of removing exotic species and restoring natural disturbance regimes necessary for some species survival
- Reconstructing in-stream aquatic habitat through bioengineering techniques
The vast majority of existing and potential fish and wildlife habitat is on private, Tribal and other non-federal lands. The Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes the potential value of enlisting the active support of private landowners in restoring and maintaining wildlife habitat for future conservation efforts in the United States.
The Fish and Wildlife Service provides financial and technical assistance to private landowners through voluntary cooperative agreements. Under cooperative agreements, landowners agree to maintain restoration projects as specified in the agreement, but they retain full control of the land. Landowners and national, state, and local organizations can serve as partners with the Service in carrying out restoration work on private lands.
Thousands of restoration projects have been supported by the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program since 1987, including:
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in New York restored a 100 acre wetland in St. Lawrence County. The project involved construction of a low berm that plugged an agricultural ditch, restoring a 100 acre field to emergent marsh habitat. This high priority wetland restoration project is located in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan's St. Lawrence Valley Focus Area. This project is one of a number of wetland restoration projects in close proximity, forming a large complex of restored wetland acres. Multiple partners contributed to the project, including Ducks Unlimited and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project provides waterfowl and other migratory birds with migration staging, resting, nesting, foraging, and brood habitat, and it also provides habitat for reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife.
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program worked with the Fish and Wildlife's Coastal Program to assist J. F. Welder Heirs Cattle Company reclaim and conserve a total of 3,000 acres of native coastal prairie in Texas. This coastal prairie provides habitat for migratory grassland birds and potential habitat for the critically endangered Attwater's prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri). The 24,000 acres of cattle ranch properties include some of the largest and best examples of native coastal prairie left on earth. The project includes reducing brush canopy coverage to 5 percent and improving brush distribution to provide optimum habitat for bobwhite populations and potential habitat for prairie chickens. The Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the cattle company to develop a grazing management system that will provide nesting and brood-rearing habitat for grassland birds, maintain the dominance of desirable native grasses and forms, and contribute to the long-term viability of the ranching operation.
Application and Financial Information
Contact the appropriate regional office (see list in this entry). Your regional contact should be able to give you an idea of the appropriateness of your proposed project and probability of its support by Partners for Fish and Wildlife. The program aims for a 50 percent nonfederal match for each project. Landowners and partner organizations provide this matching support.
Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions
Any private landowner with acreage that has the potential for restoration to its original habitat can apply for consideration in this program.
Landowners voluntarily offer the land base for restoration for a fixed term (at least 10 years although many extend the term). The program emphasizes the restoration of formerly degraded wetlands, native grasslands, riparian areas, and other habitats to conditions as close to natural as feasible.
Kathy Hollar, Coordinator
Region 1 (HI, ID, OR, WA)
911 North East 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232-4181
Mike McCollum, Coordinator
Region 2 (AZ, NM, OK, TX)
711 Stadium Drive E; Suite 252
Arlington, TX 76011
Greg Brown, Coordinator
Region 3 (IL, IN, IO, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI)
1 Federal Drive, Federal Building
Fort Snelling, MN 55111-4056
Phone: (612) 713-5475
Ronnie Haynes, Coordinator
Region 4 ( AL , AR, FL,GA, KY,LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and the Caribbean - PR, VI)
1875 Century Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: (404) 679-7138
Steve Hill, Coordinator
Region 5 (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV)
300 Westgate Center Drive
Hadly, MA 01035-9589
Phone: (413) 253-8614
Heather Johnson, Coordinator
Region 6 (CO, KS, MT, NE, ND, SD, UT, WY)
134 Union Blvd , POB 25486
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225
Phone: (303) 236-4316
John DeLapp, Coordinator
Region 7 (AK)
1011 East Tudor Road, MS 361
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: (907) 786-3925
Deb Schlafmann, Coordinator
Region 8 (CA, NV)
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento, CA 95825
Tamara McCandless, Chief, Branch of Habitat Restoration
National Program Office
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 750
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 358-2201
Fax: (703) 358-2232