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Partners in Kids Fishing Clinic-Big Sky Bassers "Maintain and cultivate partnerships that help achieve the vision and supporting goals and objectives of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan and support other initiatives designed to protect and restore habitats for Federal trust species within the Bitterroot River Valley" (Goal for Partnerships-Refuge CCP).

What is a partnership?

A partnership IS:

  • Partner is Special Events-Bitterroot Audubon et al A handshake, not a handout. 
  • A written agreement between the parties. 
  • An agreement that outlines the parties’ mutual interest in, mutual benefits from, or mutually desired goals of a common objective related to the mission of the bureau. 
  • An agreement with appropriate legal authority. 
  • An agreement that involves voluntary participation. 
  • Consistent with the partners’ plans, policies, and priorities. 
  • An agreement that demonstrates real benefits to the public. 
  • Wholly owned by each partner organization. 
  • An agreement that has a realistic timeframe with sufficient lead time to acquire funding, materials and necessary approvals. 

A partnership is NOT:

  • Partners for Refuge BioBlitz A conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest or preferential treatment of one entity over another. 
  • An endorsement of commercial products, services, or entities. 
  • A way to get around laws that apply to things like recreational use, procurement of goods and services, etc. 
  • Marketing or promotion of partners in any way, except for recognition of the contribution. 

Lee Metcalf Refuge has a history of fostering partnerships that help accomplish the refuge mission and implement programs. From 2005 to the present, the Service has entered into various projects and activities with more than 65 organizations including local and national conservation organizations, private companies and businesses, other Federal agencies, State agencies, universities, local schools, and county and city governments. The refuge also has a very active volunteer program that primarily assists visitor services programs. The refuge could not begin to meet the needs of the thousands of refuge visitors without partners and volunteers.

Partner in Burnt Fork Creek Restoration-Stevi HSThese partners have assisted in wildlife and habitat management, visitor services and recreational activities, land protection, law enforcement, and community outreach. Several of these relationships have developed into formalized partnerships with written agreements or memorandum of understanding while others remain more informal.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service works with other Department of the Interior bureaus, other Federal government agencies, and non-governmental entities and individuals to build a partnership-based approach to stewardship. Partnerships help us accomplish common goals because they:

  • Are part of our culture. 
  • Combine individual strengths to accomplish missions. 
  • Foster relationships, common goals and collaboration. 
  • Build constituencies and broad-based community support. 
  • Leverage resources to meet challenges and improve opportunities. 


Last Updated: Feb 25, 2014
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