Joint Ventures
Mountain-Prairie Region
American avocet photo
Northern pintail photo by Dave Menke, FWS
Great blue heron photo by Herb Stein, FWS
Western meadowlark photo by John & Karen Hollingsworth, FWS
Blackcrowned night heron photo by Steve Farrel, FWS
American bittern photo by Gary Zahm, FWS
Blue-winged teal photo by Dave Menke, FWS

Mallard drake photo

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

In 1986, an idea became reality.  Canada, the United States and Mexico united to form the North American Waterfowl Management Plan  (NAWMP), designed to restore diminishing continental waterfowl populations to the levels of the 1970’s.   

The “Plan” as it is sometimes called, brought together Federal and State agencies, private conservation organizations, business and private landowners national corporations and individuals of the three countries into “Joint Ventures”.  Joint Ventures are regionally based, self-directed partnerships that carry out science-based conservation through a wide array of community participation.  

From 1986 through the mid-90’s, Joint Ventures focused almost exclusively on waterfowl, striving to meet the goals of the NAWMP.  In the late 1990’s and early 2000, several other bird initiatives, based partially on the successes of the NAWMP, became reality.  These included the Partners in Flight North American Landbird Plan, the US Shorebird Conservation Plan, and the North American Waterbird Conservation Plan. 

Joint Ventures, arguably one of the most successful conservation strategies ever begun, rose to the challenge, maintaining waterfowl as a significant focus and incorporating research, biological planning, monitoring and evaluation and on-the-ground projects that would address a broad spectrum of bird conservation and conserve critical bird habitats.  

Now that we are in the 21st century, the legacy continues as Joint Ventures provide a model for regional, national and international conservation through the spirit of partnership and cooperation.

Joint Ventures:

  • Build partnerships for conservation where participation is voluntary and programs are non-regulatory
  • Work on public and private lands to protect, restore and enhance critical habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds and landbirds
  • Build a scientific foundation thorough improvement of data bases, scientific technologies and monitoring that help partners target conservation efforts to where they will do the most good and make the best use of resources
  • Leverage partner dollars with Federal and State funds to expand and enhance conservation activities

The Mountain-Prairie Region is host to five Joint Ventures:

U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Intermountain West Joint Venture
Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Playa Lakes Joint Venture
Northern Great Plains Joint Venture Migratory Bird Joint Venture




Conserving Migratory Bird Habitat for Future Generations!


Links to the four major bird initiatives:

North American Waterfowl Management Plan cover page

North American Waterfowl Management Plan (2.2 meg PDF)

U.S. Shorebird Plan - Plan Cover Page

US. Shorebird Conservation Plan:


Last update: September 5, 2014