Partners for Fish & Wildlife
Nationally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program was initiated in 1987 to help protect, enhance and restore wildlife habitat. The program is designed for use on privately owned (non-federal) lands, providing landowners with technical and financial assistance to restore fish and wildlife habitats. Partnerships are the keystone of the program. The list of partners is varied, but in general they include private landowners, conservation organizations, municipalities, businesses, educational institutions, state governments, and other federal agencies. Generally speaking, anyone can become a partner provided that the work is done on non-federal lands, and eligibility requirements of the program are met. The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is, by working with others, to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program helps accomplish this mission by providing assistance to landowners to voluntarily restore fish and wildlife habitats on their land.
The fish and wildlife resources in New England are found in a varied complex of habitats ranging from the deciduous and mixed forest headwaters of the Connecticut River to the tidal salt marshes of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The varied glacial history of the region has produced a mosaic of interconnected aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The mineral-rich bedrock and soils of this region support natural communities high in plant and animal diversity. Freshwater emergent marshes, bogs and fens, floodplain forests, maple-ash swamps, hardwood-cedar swamps, pine-oak woodlands, sandplain heathlands, and intertidal marshes are some of the important natural communities found in the region
Fish and wildlife habitats in New England have been significantly affected by human activities especially since the time of European settlement. During the last three centuries there have been broad changes in the landscape beginning with forest clearing, development of agriculture, and construction of roads, railways, and dams, to reforestation, introduction of non-native species and the development of large urban/suburban areas. The region has one of the fastest rates of population growth in the United States. While human influences to habitats have been considerable, there is now increasing interest and opportunity for significant fish and wildlife habitat restoration. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds use wetlands, woodlands, and riparian areas throughout the region as breeding habitats and for critical stopovers during spring and fall migrations along the Atlantic Flyway. Waterfowl and other wetland bird conservation is a focus at Great Bay, Parker River, Great Meadows, Silvio O. Conte, and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuges in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Restoration of diadromous fish populations, including Atlantic salmon, American shad, American eel, alewife, and blueback herring is a focus for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its cooperators in southern New England coastal region and Connecticut River watershed. In the Connecticut River, Atlantic salmon restoration is a multi-state initiative spearheaded by the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission.
In order to provide benefits to Federal trust resources the New England Field Office's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has emphasized the following initiatives: