WHAT WE DO
The Ecological Services program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for the conservation and restoration of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Maine Field Office biologists investigate the effects of contaminants and recover damages for injuries to Department of the Interior trust resources caused by oil or chemical releases. We also help recover threatened and endangered species and review proposals for wetland and stream alterations from many types of development. We recommend measures to enhance fish and wildlife resources in conjunction with the licensing of energy generation facilities and other Federal projects such as shoreline protection, navigation and flood control, etc. Our work with private individuals, organizations, and other State and Federal agencies protects, restores and enhances fish and wildlife habitat on private, State, and Federal lands. Our office also provides the public with information about the value and benefits derived from the conservation and restoration of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.
What does the Endangered Species Program do?
Three ear tagged Canada lynx kittens in the Great North Woods
region of Maine. Photo Credit: USFWS Image Library.
The Maine Field Office (MEFO) is responsible for conserving federally listed threatened and endangered species that occur within the State of Maine. In addition, the MEFO acts in the capacity of the USFWS national species lead for the Atlantic salmon, Eastern cougar and Furbish’s lousewort. In Maine, the National Marine Fisheries Service has lead responsibility for federally listed threatened and endangered marine aquatic species.
What does the Conservation Planning Assistance entail?
Wyman Dam. Photo Credit: Steve Shepard, USFWS
Conservation Planning Assistance is the cornerstone of the USFWS Division of Ecological Services. Once known as the Division of River Basin Studies, Ecological Services has become a smorgasbord of programs that provide technical assistance to the public, developers, conservationists, Federal agencies, State agencies. Some of this assistance is in the form of guidelines to minimize the impacts of various activities on fish and wildlife; others may involve assisting in building partnerships, then designing, funding and sometimes constructing habitat restoration projects, others involves providing our expertise in other agency conservation activities.
Conservation Planning Assistance puts a premium on PLANNING – that is, if ideas for projects are evaluated early in the planning process, project alternatives may be identified which can avoid or minimize impacts to fish and wildlife, including those afforded special protection under Federal laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
What does the Partners program do?
Alewife restoration. Photo Credit: Wende Mahaney, USFWS
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program was established in 1987 with a core group of biologists and a small budget for on-the-ground wetland restoration projects on private lands. This successful, results oriented program has garnered support through the years and has grown into a larger and more diversified habitat restoration program assisting thousands of private landowners across the Nation.
In Maine, we are currently working on projects to restore and protect habitat for two federally listed plants, habitat enhancement/restoration for the candidate species, the New England cottontail; working with partners to restore alewives to a lake in the Penobscot River; and supporting Project SHARE’s work reconnecting sections of stream habitat for migration, spawning and juvenile rearing of Atlantic salmon.
What does the Environmental Contaminants program do?
Sampling tissue from a federally listed Atlantic sturgeon. Photo provided by Steve Mierzykowski, USFWS.
The USFWS environmental contaminants program performs studies to investigate contaminant residue burdens in fish and wildlife, conducts Natural Resource Damage Assessments, provides technical assistance to Service programs and other partners, and responds to oil and chemical spills.
In the past year, we have analyzed bald eagle livers, piping plover eggs, and Atlantic salmon muscle tissue for a variety of environmental contaminants. We have responded to small oil spills on the Penobscot River and at inland sites.