The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Right there in our mission statement, it becomes clear! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not going it alone when it comes to conserving the nature of America.
We are responsible for countless species of wildlife, fish and plants, and millions of acres of land. It would be impossible to do what we do without amazing partners, and boy, do we have some!
Yesterday the Department of the Interior had a ceremony to honor some of our partners and their extraordinary work.
I got a chance to chat with members of the Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group at the ceremony. Credit: LaVonda Walton/USFWS
The Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group is helping Alaska’s youth understand and appreciate our natural world. The partnership produced a draft Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan for PreK-12 public schools that ensures all Alaskan students have opportunities to connect with the natural world and to develop the knowledge and skills required to maintain Alaska’s intact ecosystems, its economy and the health of its citizens. Group members are getting Alaska’s students ready to manage Alaska’s rich natural resources wisely for today and future generations.
Meeting members of the Central Umpqua-Mid Klamath Oak Habitat Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative. Credit: LaVonda Walton/USFWS
In the Pacific Northwest, the Central Umpqua-Mid Klamath Oak Habitat Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative is restoring more than 2,000 acres of Oregon white oak habitat by removing encroaching conifers, reseeding native grasses and applying prescribed fire. The exclusion of fire had degraded and highly fragmented oak habitat, which is important for terrestrial neo-tropical migratory birds. In addition to restoring habitat, this partnership provides local tribal employment in up to 90 percent of the on-the-ground work.
With members of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area Partnership. Credit: LaVonda Walton/USFWS
The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area Partnership is establishing the 150,000- acre Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area in Florida as the 556th unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The refuge will add the necessary conservation pieces to forever protect one of the last great grassland and savanna landscapes of eastern North America and create wildlife corridors, protect rare species, restore wetlands and provide outdoor recreation while supporting working ranches through conservation easements.
Through engagement and stewardship, the Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Partnership is working to create a long-term vision of people and nature coexisting in rapidly urbanizing areas. And they are doing that by working to establish the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge within reach of the Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, metropolitan areas.
These awards honor some of the most effective and efficient partnerships in the nation, partnerships that have made a real difference for some of our most unique ecosystems and native wildlife.
All of our partners, of course, could get awards because each and every one brings something unique to the conservation effort. Thank you to them all. We couldn’t do it without you – it says so in our mission.