PFW Factsheets & FAQ
PFW Factsheets & Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ - Click the question to jump to the answer
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program is a voluntary cost share program that restores, improves, and protects fish and wildlife habitat on private lands through alliances between the US Fish and Wildlife Service, other organizations, and individuals, while leaving the land in private ownership.
Anyone interested in restoring and protecting wildlife habitat on private or tribal lands can be a partner. Our partners include private landowners, local and county agencies, municipalities, Native American Tribes, private/non-profit organizations, corporations, schools, and others.
Contact the Partners Program staff for proposal guidance. Project proposals may be submitted throughout the year. The Partners Program generally receives funding once each year. We make funding decisions when complete proposals are received and evaluated, based on available funding at that time. We are available to answer questions, discuss potential projects, provide technical assistance, visit your property, and help develop a complete project design for funding consideration.
Any privately-owned land is potentially eligible for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Federal and State owned lands are not eligible.
There are three options for completing restoration:
The national goal is to achieve a cost share rate of 50 percent; however, the Service could provide up to 100 percent of the cost under special circumstances. In-kind services, such as labor, equipment use, and materials, can qualify as cost share, as well as landowner funds. The Partners Program works with other Federal, State, and local agencies, and private/non-profit organizations, whenever possible to leverage funding and in-kind assistance. Frequently, these partnerships result in more restoration activities and more acres or miles improved per project.
Before beginning a habitat improvement project, the Service and the individual landowner (Cooperator) must sign a Wildlife Cooperative Extension Agreement (WCEA). This WCEA states that the landowner will not return the project area to its former use, or alter or remove any project components (e.g., native vegetation, fences) for the specified term of the agreement. The term of the WCEA is a minimum of 10 years. If the Cooperator wants to cancel the agreement, then he or she must reimburse the Service, on a pro-rated basis, for the Service funds expended on the project.
Cooperators on Partners for Fish and Wildlife projects may be reimbursed projects for authorized expenses by one of two ways. If the cooperator has enrolled in the Service’s automated payment system (ASAP) he or she may draw project funds as needed. If not enrolled, the cooperator submits receipts and an request for reimbursement to the Project Manager and the funds are electronically deposited into an account authorized by the Cooperator/Recipient.
The Service focuses on projects in ecosystems and watersheds where conservation efforts will provide the greatest benefit for Federal trust species, such as migratory birds, declining species, and Federal and State listed threatened, endangered, and candidate species. Five geographical areas within the State have been identified to receive priority ranking for well-qualified projects (See map).
YES, we will always consider all well-qualified habitat improvement projects throughout the State, especially projects that have exceptional benefits for Federal trust species.
A Partners biologist can help you determine what type of permits and clearances might be required for your potential project. If you receive funding from the Partners Program, you must obtain all required Federal, State, or local permits prior to beginning work on the project.
You must receive a final copy of your Wildlife Cooperative Extension Agreement, signed by both you, the landowner (Cooperator/Recipient), and by the Service before you can begin work on the project. If you incur any project-related expenses before you have an agreement signed by the Service, you cannot be reimbursed for those expenses by the Service. Our staff will provide guidance to you for all necessary forms and procedures.
Cooperators/Recipients are required to begin the project within the time frame defined in the agreement. The time can be extended for justifiable delays by modifying the agreement.
No. Restoring habitat with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program does not mean that you have to allow public access on your land. Service employees occasionally need access to the project area to check on its progress and monitor its success. We will contact you to arrange these visits.
Arkansas Field Office