August 27, 2012
Partners Biologist Gib King with private landowner, certifying completion of a habitat restoration project. (Photo by USFWS)
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The Partners Program was officially established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987. Since then it has worked with:
- Over 44,000 private landowners;
- More than 3,000 partnering organizations; and
- Restored and enhanced 3,235,000 acres of uplands, 1,260,000 acres of wetlands and 9,200 miles of stream habitat.
The Partners Program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes who are willing to work with us and other partners on a voluntary basis to help meet the habitat needs of our Federal Trust Species.
The Program can assist with projects in all habitat types which conserve or restore native vegetation, hydrology, and soils associated with imperiled ecosystems such as longleaf pine, bottomland hardwoods, tropical forests, native prairies, marshes, rivers and streams, or otherwise provide an important habitat requisite for a rare, declining or protected species.
Locally-based field biologists work one-on-one with private landowners and other partners to plan, implement, and monitor their projects. Partners Program field staff help landowners find other sources of funding and help them through the permitting process, as necessary. This level of personal attention and follow-through is a significant strength of the Program that has led to the national recognition and wide support.
Growth has been tremendous during the past 25 years. The program now provides assistance to all 50 states and U.S. territories. The Program has gained national recognition as a vanguard in the new era of cooperative conservation based on the premise that fish and wildlife conservation is a responsibility shared by citizens and the government.
For more information about the Partners Program in Florida, contact State Coordinator Stan Simpkins at (904)731-3096 or Stan_Simpkins@fws.gov.