About Us

Bear River Watershed Conservation Area (Area) is a landscape-scale unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System that helps the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) protect wildlife habitat through voluntary, private land conservation easements and in some cases, by fee title land acquisition.

In 2013, the Service, after public listening sessions and feedback, established a conservation area conservation area
A conservation area or wildlife management area is a type of national wildlife refuge that consists primarily or entirely of conservation easements on private lands. These conservation easements support private landowner efforts to protect important habitat for fish and wildlife. There are 13 conservation areas and nine wildlife management areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Learn more about conservation area
for the Bear River watershed in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. The Area's designated Service staff work with voluntary private landowners to obtain conservation easements which:

  • conserve aquatic, riparian riparian
    Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

    Learn more about riparian
    , wetland, and upland habitats;
  • provide wildlife habitat connectivity and migratory corridors; 
  • maintain healthy populations of native wildlife species;
  • protect and maintain water quality and quantity;
  • increase the watershed’s resiliency during climate and land use changes;
  • conserve the area’s working landscapes; and
  • promote partnerships for coordinated watershed-level conservation.

The Land Protection Plan (Plan) for the Area outlines the Area's vision, the planning process documentation, the wildlife and habitat impacted, and the designated areas where landowners may participate. View the Plan in our library, review the Frequently Asked Questions, or reach out to your state's designated Service staff member for more information about the project.

The Vision of the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area

Landscape-scale protection of the natural resources found within the Bear River watershed is essential to humans and wildlife. The Bear River Watershed Conservation Area project preserves, protects, and restores the natural resources and working landscapes within the drainage. 

Through cooperative efforts with ranchers, farmers, local communities, land management agencies, and other conservation organizations, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service builds a community of citizens dedicated to protection of wildlife habitat, maintenance of healthy communities, enhancement of water quality, promotion of sustainable agriculture, and recognition of good stewardship. 

The legacy of this effort is the tapestry of snow-covered mountains, deciduous and conifer forest, vast areas of sagebrush sagebrush
The western United States’ sagebrush country encompasses over 175 million acres of public and private lands. The sagebrush landscape provides many benefits to our rural economies and communities, and it serves as crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the iconic greater sage-grouse and over 350 other species.

Learn more about sagebrush
and wetlands, and working farms and ranches that decorate the landscape of the Bear River watershed. This expansive landscape supports a multitude of diverse wildlife species including migratory birds, sage-grouse, elk, black bear, pronghorn, mule deer, Bonneville cutthroat trout, and other native species.

Implementation of a landscape-scale collaborative effort within the Bear River Watershed Conservation Area conserves the significant wildlife, aesthetic, and cultural values of this region in perpetuity.