Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin
Rice Field Restoration
Roll over photo with your pointer to see before and after restoration photos. USFWS Photo.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Partners for Fish & WildlifeThe Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's habitat restoration cost-sharing program for private landowners. The program was established to provide technical and financial assistance to conservation minded farmers, ranchers and other private (nonfederal and nonstate) landowners who wish to restore fish and wildlife habitat on their land.

Habitat Restoration in California

California has lost more than 90% of its historic wetlands and over 95% of its historic streamside trees, shrubs, and ground vegetation due to urbanization, agricultural conversion, flood control, and invasion by nonnative plants. It is estimated that an astounding 99% of the historic native grasslands of California have been lost or have become dominated by nonnative plants. Habitat restoration and conservation is essential to preserving California's fish and wildlife resources. With more than two-thirds of California's land in private ownership, the future of the state's wildlife habitat is dependent on the conservation practices of the private landowner. Since 1990, the California Partners program has restored and enhanced over 62,000 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat for the benefit of federal trust species; that is, migratory birds, anadromous fish, and threatened and endangered species.

Program Goals

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program emphasizes the restoration of historic ecological communities for the benefit of native fish and wildlife in conjunction with the desires of private landowners. The goals of the program are to:

  • Implement proactive, voluntary, on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that benefit federal trust species and their habitats on private and tribal lands.
  • Provide technical and financial assistance to landowners who are interested in providing suitable habitat for fish and wildlife on their property.
  • Provide leadership and promote partnerships using the Service's and other organizations' expertise.
  • Conduct public outreach to broaden understanding of fish and wildlife habitats while encouraging and demonstrating conservation efforts.

Program Description

Assistance provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can range from giving informal advice on the design and location of potential restoration projects, to designing a project and funding up to 50% of the implementation costs. A cooperative agreement is developed between the Service and the landowner in which the landowner agrees to maintain the restored or improved site for a minimum of 10 years. Projects that receive the highest priority for funding are those that provide direct benefits to migratory birds, anadromous fish, and threatened and endangered species.

Habitat restoration and enhancement projects may include, but are not limited to, restoring wetland hydrology; installing fencing along riparian areas to exclude livestock; rehabilitating in-stream aquatic habitats; removing nonnative plants; planting native grasslands; and planting native trees, shrubs, and other plants to provide food and shelter for fish and wildlife in degraded habitats.

Program benefits for landowners include protecting or restoring sustainable populations of native fish, wildlife, and plants; improving water quality and watershed health; reducing point source pollution; protecting and stabilizing property loss due to erosion; and enhancing aesthetics and recreation benefits.

For more information visit the national Partners for Fish and Wildlife page or visit partners programs in other regions below

Region 1 - Idaho, Oregon
Region 2 - Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Region 3 - Great Lakes/Big Rivers: Wisconsin
Region 4 - Southeast
Region 5 - Northeast: Maryland
Region 6 - Mountain-Prairie: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Region 7 - Alaska
Region 8 - Arcata

Project Types How To Apply Contact Us Our Partners Program Info National Page