Late in 2011, the Conte Refuge and the four state directors of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding designed to enhance the public's understanding of NRCS and initiate conservation projects with willing landowners. NRCS funding allowed the Refuge to hire a Private Lands Biologist for two years that will work collaboratively with NRCS field staff in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, in conjunction with the respective state fish and wildlife agencies. The Private Lands Biologist will assist NRCS with outreach and project identification, specifically looking at barriers to aquatic species on private lands, and coordinating with states to identify potentially high quality projects to NRCS staff. The goal is to increase coordination between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NRCS, state fish and wildlife agencies, and other partners in the watershed while preventing duplication of effort.