U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
 
 Mountain-Prairie Region  Partners for Fish & Wildlife
COLORADO  KANSAS  MONTANA  NEBRASKA
NORTH DAKOTA  SOUTH DAKOTA  UTAH  WYOMING
 
PROGRAM OVERVIEW  grass, duck, frog and fish drawing
 
Background and History of Partners for Fish & Wildlife
Pair of Mallard ducks
Partners for Fish and Wildlife evolved from early-1970's concerns about low waterfowl breeding populations and annual production in the north-central United States and southern prairie Canada. A formal attempt to define the waterfowl recruitment problem and consider solutions occurred at a meeting called by the Province of Manitoba in January 1974. Following that meeting, a committee led by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources developed a course of action.

A pilot program, the Mid-continent Waterfowl Management Unit, was established in western Minnesota. A steering committee of the Wildlife Management Institute, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guided the effort.

Mallards on the wing -- early morning fog

Photo by Kurt Forman, USFWS

The "Mid-Continent Project" had Four Goals:

  • Protect existing wetland habitat in private ownership
  • Create and/or restore wetland habitat on private land
  • Establish upland nesting cover on private land
  • Improve wetland and upland habitat on public land

Prairie Potholes - a complex of restored wetlands

USFWS Photo

Management activities were designed and field tested from 1978 through 1987 in a three county pilot area. In 1987, the "mid-continent project" was expanded by the Fish and Wildlife Service into an operational private lands habitat program (Partners for Wildlife) for application in every state.

The Region 6 Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program started in North Dakota in 1987 and has been expanded to all other Region 6 states since then.    Partners for Fish and Wildlife's focus goes beyond waterfowl habitat.

Habitat restoration goals include:

  • Restoring habitat through voluntary partnerships with private landowners.

  • Implementing habitat restoration projects in partnership with State Fish and Wildlife agencies.

  • Restoring biological diversity on private lands and (FmHA) easement and fee title transfers with an emphasis on wetlands.

  • Assisting in the conservation and restoration of biological diversity on National Wildlife Refuges by conserving and restoring the ecosystems in which they are located.

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