Partners for Fish & Wildlife

Partners for Fish and Wildlife LogoPartners Wanted

The first step in becoming a partner is to contact us with ideas and questions. We look forward to working with selected applicants to develop a work plan together after an initial site visit is conducted.

See our application process page for details.

by Amy Rocha, NRCS and Mike Dunphy, USFWS

Photo by Amy Rocha, NRCS
& Mike Dunphy, USFWS

Habitat Restoration on Private Lands

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides cost-share funding and technical assistance to private land owners and their local partners.

Assistance is given to restore streams, wetlands and other native habitat on private property.

The program operates on a voluntary basis. We rely on landowners who want to restore their property. The landowners agree to maintain the restoration for at least ten years. Otherwise, they keep full control of their lands.

In addition to forming partnerships with private landowners, we work with private organizations, and local, state, or other Federal government programs. Some of our partners

Project Types

field work

Photo by Amy Rocha, NRCS
& Mike Dunphy, USFWS

Highest priority projects are those that restore native habitat and provide long-term benefits to Federal trust species. These include anadromous fish, migratory birds, and rare or listed species. Examples of common project types include:

  • Revegetation with native trees and shrubs
  • Removing non-native vegetation
  • Restoring ponds and other wetlands for native wildlife
  • Livestock exclusion fencing and off-site watering
  • Grassland restoration
  • Improving fish passages and in-stream conditions for salmon and steelhead

Award Information

The program is geared toward supporting smaller projects and providing seed money for larger ones. The maximum funding allowed per project is $25,000.

Projects are required to have non-federal funding sources. This non-federal match of funding can be in cash or in-kind services. Projects with a higher non-Federal cost-share match are more competitive. Our biologist can help you find potential sources of cost-share.

The Partners Program is not a typical grant program. We operate as a partner, not strictly as a funding agency.

Our biologists work closely with the landowner to develop, coordinate and implement the project. Our funding pot is small. So we try to develop cost-efficient projects, ones that maximize our partners' skills and resources.

On selected projects, we are available to work with interested landowners and local partners to identify and develop restoration plans and wildlife-friendly management practices and help coordinate and implement projects.

See a fact sheet (40 KB PDF) on the Partners Program. And checkout the national page for the Partners Program.

Priority Areas

Partners funds administered by our office are focused on two areas: selected counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley Foothills. This is part of an agency-wide effort to focus resources into a smaller area, rather than diluting them over a larger region. Other areas may be eligible, depending on location and project need.


Any non-federal, non-state land is eligible to receive Partners funds. Applicants may include the landowner or someone working on their behalf. This could be a resource conservation district, land trust, non-profit or for-profit organization, county, municipality or local watershed group.