The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources. Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner. Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife (Partners) program serves as the Service’s premier tool for conservation delivery on privately owned land. The Partners program, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners, tribes, and schools on a voluntary basis to help meet the habitat needs of federal trust species. Field biologists work one-on-one with landowners and partners to plan, implement, and monitor activities. Working together with more than 45,000 landowners and 3,000 conservation partners, the Program has successfully restored over 1,000,000 acres of wetland habitat; 3,000,000 acres of upland habitat and 11,000 miles of streams. Projects that can be done through the Partners program include wetland or grassland restoration, and fencing and installation of water pipelines and tanks for grazing management. Contact the Refuge if you would like more information about the Partners program and how we can work together for the benefit of landowners and wildlife.
Another partnership program Waubay National Wildlife Refuge is involved with is the Prairie Coteau Habitat Partnership (PCHP). Numerous state, federal, and private organizations are helping to conserve native pasture and grassland habitat in South Dakota and Minnesota. One of the ways this group does this is to teach landowners how to use prescribed fire to restore and rejuvenate native pastures.
The conservation issues of today are complex and challenging and often extend past Refuge or state boundaries. To address these challenges a partnership program was recently developed through the leadership of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service called Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC). LCCs are applied conservation science partnerships with two main functions. The first is to provide the science and technical expertise needed to support conservation planning at landscape scales – beyond the reach or resources of any one organization. The second function of LCCs is to promote collaboration among their members in defining shared conservation goals. LCCs don’t place limits on partners; rather, they help partners to see how their activities can "fit" with those of other partners to achieve a bigger and more lasting impact. This networked approach to conservation will ensure the sustainability of America’s land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources that are important to quality of life and local economies.
The Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) is dedicated to the conservation of a landscape unparalleled in importance to a vast array of unique species whose populations are in steep decline. The Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC includes three main sub-units, the Prairie Pothole Region, Northern Great Plains, and the riparian corridors of several major river systems including the Missouri,the Yellowstone and the Red River of the North.
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Ruddy ducks are the clowns of prairie potholes with their bright blue bills and slapstick mating rituals and noises.