What We Do
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats or the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 520 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas nationwide. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
The Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Region manages 1.2 million acres in refuge land and water on 46 national wildlife refuges and 9 wetland management districts, including more than 240,000 acres in waterfowl production areas. The region also manages 6 national fish hatcheries, 9 fisheries stations, 10 ecological services field offices, and 18 law enforcement field offices.
Region staff are committed to:
Healthy fish and wildlife trust species (migratory birds, endangered species, interjurisdictional fish) populations, and habitats that support them
Quality hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and enjoyment on Service lands by the public
Expanded partnerships, which offer innovative opportunities to enhance the nation's fish and wildlife resources
A clearly-defined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service organization dedicated toward employee excellence, reflecting the nation's rich diversity and providing quality service and decision-making closer to the resources in our trust.