Employee Pocket Guide
Office of External Affairs

Division Information

Bird Habitat Conservation
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: MBSP
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-1784 Fax: 703/358-2282
Cedar Waxwing, Dave Menke/USFWS

The Division of Bird Habitat Conservation provides leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations.

Roles and Responsibilities
Located within the Migratory Bird Program, the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation:

  • Administers the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Standard and Small Grants Programs, which provide matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/index.shtm>
  • Coordinates and provides staff to the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NAWCA/CouncilAct.shtm>
  • Administers the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grants Program, which supports public-private partnerships that promote the long-term conservation of Neotropical migratory birds and their habitats in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Grants/NMBCA/index.shtm>
  • Provides national leadership in the United States for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and staff support to the Plan Committee and the Plan Committee's Science Support Team. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/NAWMP/index.shtm>
  • Supports nearly two dozen habitat and bird joint ventures -- collaborative, regional partnerships comprising government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, tribes, and individuals who work to implement bird conservation plans within specific geographic areas or for specific species. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/JointVentures/index.shtm>
  • Supports conservation work conducted under Partners in Flight, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, and North American Waterbird Conservation Plan, and provides staff support for the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. <www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/Plans/index.shtm>
  • Administers the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) and the Junior Duck Stamp programs. <www.fws.gov/duckstamps>


Budget, Planning, and Human Capital
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: ABHR
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-2400 Fax: 703/358-1981
Washington D.C., credit USFWS

Budget, Planning, and Human Resources has the authority and responsibility to develop policy directives; budget formulation and execution, and resource allocation and analyses, as well as forecasting workforce requirements and facilitating compliance with legal, regulatory, and Departmental policies in all functional areas.

Roles and Responsibilities of Divisions

Human Capital - Develops and administers human resources policies and programs, workforce and strategic planning, and automation for the most effective management of human resources. HC develops and administers equal opportunity and civil rights policies and programs and is responsible for Affirmative Employment and Diversity, alternative dispute resolution and discrimination complaints, educational partnerships, and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. <www.fws.gov/humancapital>

Budget - Directs and manages the budget formulation process prescribing policies, procedures, and controls, and ensures compliance with Administration objectives and conformance to statutory authorities. Budget maintains control of the budget process and the limitation of funds imposed by Congress and OMB. <www.fws.gov/budget>

Policy and Directives Management - Develops, administers, and reviews Service-wide policies, systems, and procedures for activities such as directives, information collection, advisory committees, reports and forms management, processes regulations and Federal Register notices, patents and inventions, Alternative Dispute Resolution, FAIR Act Inventory, Competitive Sourcing, and OIG and GAO audits. <www.fws.gov/policy>

Cost and Performance Management - Administers GPRA, coordinating the development and maintenance of the Service’s portion of the DOI Strategic Plan, the Secretary’s MBOs, the Service Operational Plan, the performance section of the Service Budget, the Service Performance Accountability Report, the OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool, and Activity Based Cost Management. <www.fws.gov/planning/abc>


Business Management and Operations
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: BMO
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-1822 Fax: 703/358-2160
Aleutian Canada Geese, credit Dave Menke/USFWS

Business Management and Operations is an integral part of the Service’s day-to-day operations, providing a foundation and the necessary tools for all natural resource programs to accomplish their mission. Functional areas include financial management, engineering, contracting and facilities management, Service-wide occupational safety and health, and economic analysis.

Roles and Responsibilities of Divisions

Financial Management - Directs accounting and financial operations focusing on accounting policies, fund control, travel, cash management, debt collection, cost recovery activities, investment program, and internal/external financial reporting.

Engineering - Directs the Service’s engineering, construction, dam safety, bridge safety, seismic safety, energy management, and environmental and facilities compliance activities.

Contracting and Facilities Management - Develops policy and manages programs for Federal acquisition, personal property, government quarters, space leasing, and the motor vehicle fleet. Also manages office facilities at the Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Safety and Health - Develops and administers safety and occupational health policies and procedures to prevent and reduce employee injuries and work-related illnesses.

Economics - Conducts economic analyses to meet legislative requirements and Executive Orders and provides programs with technical assistance during the decision-making process on critical habitat designations and natural resource valuations.


Public Affairs
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: AEA
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-2220 Fax: 703/358-1930
www.fws.gov/r9extaff and www.fws.gov/news/news
Earth, credit National Aeronautics Space Administration/USFWS

The Division of Public Affairs, located in External Affairs, serves as principal strategic communications advisor to the Director and Directorate on both media issues and internal communications efforts. The Division is responsible for the planning, development, and execution of long-and short-term strategic communications efforts to achieve the agency’s mission and goals, coordinating closely with officials of the Interior Department and Regional and field communications personnel of the Service.

Communications staff work to build the communications capacity of the Service by serving as resources and advisors for Service employees and programs, working with the National Conservation Training Center on communications training for Service employees, and by overseeing implementation of the Service’s Strategic Approach to Communications. The Division plays a key role in the Service’s internal communications efforts, working to develop strategies and products to keep employees informed of new developments and management actions, while facilitating the exchange of ideas and information between leadership and employees across the agency.

Roles and Responsibilities
Communications consists of two branches: Public Affairs and Internal Communications.

Public Affairs:

  • Develops and implements communication policies and strategic communications efforts.
  • Serves as a resource and advisor for Service leadership and employees on communications issues.
  • Responds to inquiries from the news media, constituent groups, and the public.
  • Keeps other program areas aware of developments with the media and stakeholder groups.
  • Helps develop communications and outreach strategies and products for emerging issues and crisis events.

Internal Communications:

  • Works with Service leadership to improve communication with employees.
  • Works with IRTM to maintain the Service’s intranet presence.
  • Maintains and updates the Employee Pocket Guide.


Congressional and Legislative Affairs
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: AEA-330
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703)358-2240 Fax: (703)358-1780
Capital Washington D.C., credit USFWS

The Division of Congressional and Legislative Affairs (CLA) is the Service’s primary point of contact with Congress and is responsible for the Service’s legislative agenda and congressional relations program. Located within External Affairs, CLA also coordinates congressional and legislative activities with the Service’s Regional Congressional Liaisons.

In the 111th Congress, CLA, working with the Service’s programs, regional and field offices, and partner organizations, coordinated the Service’s participation in 25 congressional hearings; organized more than 500 congressional meetings, briefings and field trips; handled thousands of congressional inquiries and correspondence; and reviewed several hundred legislative referrals.

Roles and Responsibilities
Congressional and Legislative Affairs staff:

  • Develop and promote the Service’s legislative agenda including making recommendations for initiatives to the Service Directorate.
  • Prepare legislative priorities, review and report on legislation referred by the Department of the Interior, and coordinate the Service’s views with other bureaus and offices to achieve Service objectives.
  • Educate Congress about Service programs and accomplishments.
  • Inform Service leadership, programs, and regional and field offices about congressional actions and legislative activities.
  • Serve as the main point of contact with Members of Congress and committees.
  • Provide information and materials in response to congressional inquiries and other assistance as required by Members of Congress.


Endangered Species Program
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: ES
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-2171 Fax: 703/358-1735
Working Together: Partnerships for Endangered Species Recovery Poster. Credit: USFWS

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) recognizes that fish, wildlife, and plants “are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.” The ESA is administered by the Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Service has primary responsibility for conservation of terrestrial and freshwater organisms, while the responsibilities of NMFS are centered mainly on estuarine and marine species.

The Service’s program has two major goals: 1) recover listed species, and 2) conserve species-at-risk (candidates and other species-at-risk) so that listing under the ESA is not necessary. The conservation of our Nation’s imperiled species cannot be achieved by any one agency. The authorities, resources, and cooperation of all partners —States, Tribes, other Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry, private landowners, and other Service programs — are required to meet our conservation objectives.

Roles and Responsibilities

Recovery - Facilitate and provide leadership for planning and partnering on recovery activities for listed species.

Proactive Conservation - Provide planning and technical assistance to partners to sign conservation agreements and implement actions for candidate and other species-at-risk.
Grants - Provide funding to States and Territories for species and habitat conservation actions on non-Federal lands.

Listing/Delisting - Use the best available commercial and scientific data for listing, reclassifying, or delisting species under the ESA; and to identify candidates for listing.

Consultation - Federal agencies consult with the Service to address threats to species their programs and activities may affect.

Conservation Tools - Provide technical assistance for voluntary conservation tools such as Conservation Banks, Safe Harbor Agreements, Habitat Conservation Plans, and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances, to increase flexibility and certainty for private landowners with listed, candidate, or species-at-risk on their property.


Environmental Quality
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: EQ
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-2148 Fax: 703/358-1800
Environmental Education at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, credit John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS

Concerns for pollution impacts on fish and wildlife began in the early 1900s when water quality was studied as part of a fisheries research program. In the late 1940s, Service researchers made important strides by studying the effects of pesticides, such as DDT, on fish and wildlife.

National attention focused on the ecological effects of toxic chemicals after former Service employee, Rachel Carson, published Silent Spring in 1962. Today, the Division of Environmental Quality is the only Federal program that investigates the effects of pollution, pesticides, and other contaminants on fish and wildlife.

Each year, more than 7 billion pounds of toxic substances are released onto the land, and into the air, water, and underground and more than 4.5 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the U.S. alone and across the world. The toxic impact of these substances is likely to increase with the environmental changes expected from climate change.  Two important goals of the division are contaminant prevention and restoration of fish, wildlife, and habitats.

Roles and Responsibilities
Located within Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, the Division of Environmental Quality works with other agencies and the private sector to identify and assess effects of contaminants on species and their habitats, prevent toxic-level contaminant exposure to fish, wildlife, and refuge lands, and restore habitats and populations injured by contaminants.  We accomplish our goals through:

  • Identifying and Assessing Contaminant Effects - We provide expertise on water quality criteria, pesticide registrations, pesticide use, other pest management practices, and emerging contaminants.
  • Prevent Contaminant Exposure - We review and comment on contaminant-related legislation, regulations, water quality standards, permits, and licenses to ensure that these documents provide protection for fish and wildlife.
  • Restoration of Trust Resources - We investigate and assess injuries from hazardous material releases and oil spills, negotiate settlements with polluters, and work with our federal, state, and tribal partners to carry out restoration projects.  With our partners, we have spent over $300,000,000 to restore injured fish, wildlife, and habitats.


Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Conservation (Fisheries Program)
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: FARC
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-1715 Fax: 703/358-2487
Pallid Sturgeon Release, credit USFWS

The mission of the Service’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation (Fisheries) Program is to work with partners to restore and maintain fish and other aquatic resources at self-sustaining levels, and to support federal mitigation programs for the benefit of the American public.  Since 1871, the Fisheries Program has played a vital role in conserving America’s fisheries.  It is a key partner with States, Tribes, other federal agencies, and private interests in a larger effort to recover and conserve fish and other aquatic resources and to make these available for recreational activities. Using the best available science, the Fisheries Program works across geographic and political borders to help craft partnerships and solutions to conserve, restore, and enhance our natural resources for the benefit of the American people.

Approximately 800 employees are located nationwide in 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices (including a Conservation Genetics Laboratory), one Historic National Fish Hatchery, 9 Fish Health Centers, 7 Fish Technology Centers, the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership program, Aquatic Invasive Species, and Marine Mammals program offices.  Our employees and facilities provide a network unique in its broad geographic coverage, its diverse array of technical and managerial capabilities, and its ability to work across political and program boundaries with national perspectives and to address emerging issues.

Roles & Responsibilities


National Fish Hatchery System (NFHS) – The NFHS consists of 70 National Fish Hatcheries (NFHs), 9 Fish Health Centers (FHCs), 7 Fish Technology Centers (FTCs), one Historic National Fish Hatchery (HNFH), and the Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (AADAP) Program.  These facilities and their highly-trained personnel provide a network unique in national conservation efforts because of the suite of capabilities available.  These include propagation of healthy and genetically-appropriate aquatic animals and plants to help re-establish wild populations; and scientific leadership in development of aquaculture, genetics, fish nutrition, and disease diagnostic technologies.  Working closely with State, Tribal, and nongovernmental organizations, the Program also provides recreational opportunities and conservation and economic benefits for local communities.

Migratory Fish - When fish cross domestic and international boundaries, the Service and other Federal, Tribal, and State fishery managers work together to monitor populations, set sustainable harvest levels, and boost troubled stocks. Hatcheries propagate and release fish for restoration and recovery.

The Threat of Extinction - There are 216 threatened or endangered aquatic species in the U.S. today.  Hatcheries contribute to the recovery of these fishes, mussels, and toads through propagation and refugia technology and health centers, as well as genetic and health protection.

Federal Fishery Obligations - When Federal dams and other projects disturb fisheries, this program steps in to help mitigate adverse effects on aquatic species and to ensure angling opportunities. Hatcheries support angling on national wildlife refuges, provide support for fishery and wildlife management to Native American Tribes, and work to control exotic and aquatic nuisance species.

New Aquatic Animal Drug Approvals – FDA approval of new aquatic animal drugs is essential to meet critical current and future fisheries management needs of Federal, Tribal, and State fishery managers and private aquaculture. The AADAP leads a cooperative effort with these partners to obtain approval of these drugs.


Maintenance and Equipment - NFHS mission accomplishments are largely determined by the condition of key assets associated with water delivery, aquatic species culture, and effluent management. These assets include those that directly deliver and treat the water delivered to and discharged from a facility, and regulate the actual rearing or holding environment of fish and other aquatic species.


Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices (FWCO) – FWCOs provide scientific leadership and technical assistance in the management and restoration of the Nation’s aquatic resources and habitats, working in partnership with private entities as well as Federal, State, and Tribal governments. Priorities include conservation of native interjurisdictional and imperiled fishes; providing technical assistance on Tribal, Federal, and military lands; restoring fish passage; and conserving and recovering aquatic and terrestrial species. The program maintains 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation offices, two Sea Lamprey Control Offices, and a state-of-the-art Conservation Genetics Laboratory.

National Fish Passage Program (NFPP) - The NFPP, administered by the FWCO’s in collaboration with partners, is a non-regulatory and voluntary program that removes or bypasses barriers to fish passage and re-opens important riverine, estuarine and wetland habitats.

National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) – The NFHAP is a non-regulatory and voluntary program that fosters locally-driven and scientifically-based partnerships to protect, restore, and enhance aquatic habitats and reverse the decline of fish and aquatic species.
Aquatic Invasive Species Program (AIS) - The introduction and establishment of invasive species have significantly impacted the health of our native species and ecosystems and are considered to be second only to direct habitat destruction as a cause of declining biodiversity.  Nearly half of the imperiled species in the United States are threatened by non-native invasive species, and it has been estimated that the economic and ecologic impacts total more than $120 billion per year. The Service’s AIS Program contributes to the conservation of trust species and their habitats by preventing the introduction and spread of AIS, monitoring habitats to determine the distribution of invasive species, rapidly responding to new invasions, and controlling established invaders.   

Marine Mammals - The Marine Mammal Program coordinates the Service's implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act internally and externally with our partners. Program responsibilities include clearing regulations for publication, publishing annual reports to Congress and the public on the Service's activities, developing and advocating for policies and legislative positions, and communicating with partner agencies and stakeholders.


Habitat and Resource Conservation
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: HRC
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-2161 Fax: 703/358-1869
Aerial of Restoration Site, credit George Gentry/USFWS

The Division of Habitat and Resource Conservation, located within Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, plays a key role in conserving and restoring wetlands and other sensitive habitats. DHRC works with partners and stakeholders to protect and enhance habitat, and avoid or mitigate adverse impacts due to land and water development projects that are federally funded, permitted, or licensed. The division also evaluates wetland status and trends; updates wetland maps; and implements the National Environmental Policy, Coastal Barrier Resources, Sikes, and Marine Mammal Protection Acts.

Roles and Responsibilities

Partners for Fish and Wildlife - The Service’s premiere voluntary citizen and community-based conservation stewardship program. The Program offers technical and financial assistance to private landowners primarily for the restoration of wetland, stream, and riparian habitats.

Conservation Planning Assistance - Works collaboratively with Federal agencies and project development proponents to recommend fish and wildlife conservation measures early in the NEPA environmental review and approval process. Program biologists supply expert conservation assistance on a wide range of projects such as navigation, flood control, highway, hydroelectric power, wind, and other renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

Coastal Program - Identifies coastal resource problems and on-the-ground solutions to conserve coastal habitats.  The program seeks partnerships and encourages public action to carry out habitat restoration and protection projects in the Nation’s highest priority coastal areas. 

Coastal Barrier Program - Administers provisions of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act and works with the Congress to digitize and maintain the official Coastal Barrier Resources System maps.

Sikes Act - Protects ecosystems while meeting the needs of military operations nationwide.  Works with the military, the States, and others to develop integrated natural resource management plans for more than 25 million acres on 400 military installations.

National Wetlands Inventory - Monitors the Nation’s wetlands.  Produces digital wetland maps and resource data, and reports on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation’s wetland, riparian, and deepwater habitats.

Marine Mammal Program - Conducts stock assessment and conservation management work for polar bear, Pacific walrus, the northern and southern sea otter, and West Indian manatee pursuant to the MMPA.  Works collaboratively with Alaska Native organizations on co-management of subsistence harvest, and with Russia on the Polar Bear Bilateral Agreement.  Publishes regulations and annual reports to Congress, and advocates for the conservation and protection of the Nation’s marine mammal populations.


Information Resources and Technology Management (IRTM)
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: IRTM
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703) 358-1729 Fax: (703) 358-2251

The Assistant Director for IRTM serves as the Service’s Chief Information Officer and directs the planning, governance, and implementation of information management resources and technology to enable and enhance the Service’s mission.  The Division Chief serves as the Deputy AD and Deputy Chief Information Officer.  IRTM provides Service policy, strategic planning, governance, and technical services and capabilities across a wide range of information technology functions.

Roles & Responsibilities
Working with programs, regions, and other partners to support Service business needs, the IRTM Directorate/CIO:

  • Provides Service Enterprise Architecture, data resource management, standards, and stewardship; national GIS coordination, GIS spatial data inventory, geospatial metadata creation/publication, as well as systems consultation and development. 
  • Provides Service-wide, National-level infrastructure services such as Service Wide Area Network (SWAN), Enterprise Messaging, Web Services, Land Mobile Radio, Enterprise Technical Service Center and Enterprise technology engineering; provides network services and customer support in the Washington Office (WO).
  • Provides management and oversight of the IT portfolio and capital planning activities, E-Government initiatives, Section 508, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy Act, Records Management, and enterprise hardware/software management.
  • Provides the Service information security program to include policies, procedures, compliance, system accreditation and certification, incident reporting/handling, audits/inspections, and associated reporting, and maintains and monitors network security subsystems to ensure a stable and reliable environment for the FWS Networks
  • Provides oversight, guidance, and training in support of the Service information technology workforce.


International Affairs
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: IA
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703)358-2261
Fax: (703)358-1855
CITES Permits: (800)358-2104

Wildlife Without Borders

The Service has international responsibilities under some 40 conventions, treaties, and agreements. Located within International Affairs, the divisions of International Conservation, Management Authority, and Scientific Authority implement these authorities for the benefit of wildlife. International Affairs provides leadership and assistance to other nations for wildlife management, conservation, and protection of global biodiversity. The divisions work with other governments and a variety of non-governmental organizations, scientific and conservation organizations, industry groups, and other interested parties to ensure the effective implementation of treaties and laws and the global conservation of species.

Roles and Responsibilities
Working with partners around the world to conserve species and their ecosystems, International Affairs:

  • Provides technical assistance to fish and wildlife managers in other countries.
  • Conserves native and foreign species at risk through the regulation of sustainable trade and implementation of policies related to international wildlife conservation.
  • Works closely with States and Native American Tribes to help ensure conservation of U.S. species in trade.
  • Administers Wildlife Without Borders grant programs supporting human and institutional capacity building and conservation research for species and regions.
  • Addresses emerging issues, such as climate change, wildlife disease, invasive species, and the illegal bushmeat trade.


Law Enforcement
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: LE
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703)358-1949 Fax: (703)358-2271
www.fws.gov/le and www.lab.fws.gov
Seized Wildlife Property Evidence, credit John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS

In 1900, Congress passed the Lacey Act, the first Federal law to protect wildlife. Additional wildlife conservation laws followed, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald Eagle Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act. All are upheld by Service law enforcement professionals.

Today, Service Law Enforcement contributes to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation, from protecting endangered species to preserving opportunities for hunting and fishing. Enforcement efforts target potentially devastating threats – illegal trade, habitat destruction, and environmental contaminants. Innovative partnerships with industry groups are improving compliance with wildlife laws and eliminating hazards to wildlife.

Law Enforcement consists of seven regional offices that conduct investigations and inspections throughout the country; a headquarters operation that oversees training, conducts special investigations, and provides policy, intelligence, and administrative support; the Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory; and the National Eagle and Wildlife Property Repositories.

Roles and Responsibilities
Law Enforcement investigates wildlife crimes, monitors a $2.7 billion annual trade in wildlife and wildlife products, and helps Americans obey wildlife protection laws. This work includes:

  • Infiltrating smuggling rings that target imperiled animals.
  • Preventing commercial exploitation of protected U.S. species.
  • Protecting wildlife from environmental hazards and safeguarding habitat.
  • Inspecting wildlife shipments to ensure compliance with laws and treaties and detecting illegal trade.
  • Using forensic science to analyze evidence and solve wildlife crimes.


Migratory Bird Program
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: MBSP
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703)358-1714
Fax: (703)358-2217
Brown Pelicans, credit  Gary M. Stolz/USFWS

The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people through: Population Monitoring, Assessment and Management; Habitat Conservation; Permits and Regulations; Consultation; Communication and Outreach, and Recreation. The program goals are to protect, restore, and manage migratory bird populations to: ensure long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increase socioeconomic benefits, improve hunting and
birdwatching, other outdoor bird-related experiences, increase awareness of the value of migratory birds and their habitats for
their intrinsic, ecological, recreational and economic significance.

Bird Habitat Conservation—Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations.<www.fws.gov/birdhabitat/index.shtm>

Migratory Bird Management—Providing global leadership in the conservation and management of migratory birds for present
and future generations. <www.fws.gov/migratorybirds>

Migratory birds are some of nature’s most magnificent resources. They play a significant ecological, economic, and cultural role in the United States and internationally. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act guides the work of the Division of Migratory Bird Program today.

Roles & Responsibilities
The Migratory Bird Management Program:

  • Assesses, manages, and conserves more than 800 native migratory bird species.
  • Develops and implements survey, monitoring, and assessment activities to determine the status of both game and non-game birds.
  • Evaluates the effects of human activities and natural
    conditions on the health of bird populations.
  • Conducts hundreds of annual surveys across key breeding, migration, and wintering areas, and supports the National Aviation Manager in the Office of Aviation Management.
  • Plays a central role in working with others to develop and implement local, regional, national, and international bird management plans, including Partners In Flight, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan, North American Waterbird Conservation plan, and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
  • Manages the Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp programs
  • Manages many grant programs including the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
  • Provides opportunities, through the issuance of permits and regulations, for organizations and individuals to participate in migratory bird activities, such as hunting, scientific research, rehabilitation of injured birds, education, falconry, and taxidermy, as well as control of overabundant species.


National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Phone: (304) 876-7263
Fax: (304) 876-7227
Lodging Reservations: (304) 876-7900
Computer Helpdesk: (304) 876-7425
Aerial of NCTC Campus, credit Brian Jonkers/USFWS

NCTC was established in 1997 as a home for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide training and educational services to employees, ensuring they have the skills and tools to accomplish our conservation mission. On campus, people from all sectors come together to learn skills, share perspectives, establish networks, and build bridges for conservation, based on respect and mutual interest.

In its second decade, NCTC is expanding and adapting its instructional offerings to encompass more and varied forms of training by computer e-learning and video broadcast, emphasizing the philosophy of “training when you want it, where you want it” in its courses for field-based fish and wildlife professionals, and complementing its traditional classroombased instruction in Shepherdstown.

NCTC works with Service offices to develop education/outreach materials designed to reach the public as resource conservation partners. NCTC helps the Service connect people with nature and ensure youth employment and career opportunities in conservation.

NCTC preserves the heritage of the Service and its predecessor agencies by collecting, interpreting, and disseminating the history of the Service and American conservation. Here in the Service’s national archive, you will find everything from Rachel Carson’s magnifying glass to the original surveys for Pelican Island, America’s first national wildlife refuge.

Roles & Responsibilities
NCTC advances conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats through:

  • Training for the Service and America’s conservation and resource management community.
  • Conservation education for the public.
  • Alliances among diverse resource interests.
  • Promoting Careers in Conservation


National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS)
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: NWRS
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: (703)358-1744
Fax: (703)358-2248
Aerial of Pelican Island NWR, George Gentry/USFWS

The National Wildlife Refuge System began in1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island, a 3-acre island off Florida’s coast, as the first national wildlife refuge. The NWRS has grown to about 150 million acres of strategically located habitats in all 50 States and U.S. territories, including 550 refuges and 37 wetland management districts that contain thousands of Waterfowl Production Areas and small prairie wetlands. It is the only network of Federal lands devoted specifically to wildlife and wildlife habitat

Roles & Responsibilities

The NWRS provides habitat for threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, and some of the Nation’s most important fishery resources. It also includes about 20 percent of the designated Wilderness areas in the U.S. Fifty-nine national wildlife refuges have been established specifically to protect endangered species.

The NWRS offers outstanding wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, wildlife observation and photography, as well as environmental education and interpretation for present and future generations. Around 40 million people visit the NWRS annually.

The NWRS Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning is responsible for overall natural resource planning and management within the NWRS with a focus on: 1) maintaining the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of NWRS lands and waters and 2) guiding the strategic growth of the system.

Organizationally, the Division consists of four subunits:

  • The Branch of Wildlife Resources in Arlington, Virginia, focuses on overall natural resource management to include land acquisition and management planning; Wilderness and special designation policy; invasive species and pest management;
    biological support; water rights management and use; marine resources; contaminants; migratory birds; and endangered species. It also provides leadership in policy development and implementation; regulations development; technical assistance and oversight in developing Comprehensive Conservation Plans and step-down management plans; reviews proposals to create new or expand existing refuges; develops products, materials, and training courses to facilitate consistent implementation and application of policy; and provides budgetary information on refuge planning and policy issues.
  • The Branch of Air Quality in Denver, Colorado, supports air quality monitoring, regulation development and initiatives, and training and planning. Air quality protection is primarily carried out through implementation of the Clean Air Act which requires the FWS to preserve, protect, and enhance air quality and air quality related values on FWS lands. A variety of activities are carried out; the most important of which are the Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Visibility, and National Ambient Air Quality programs.
  • The Fire Management Branch in Boise, Idaho, provides policy, oversight, and scientific/technical support for managing fire on Service lands. This includes fire preparedness; fire suppression and emergency fire rehabilitation; hazardous fuels reduction; rural fire assistance; policy, procedures, and standards development; and coordination of the Service’s interagency fire involvement, including serving as the contact for the Department’s Office of Wildland Fire Coordination.
  • The Natural Resources Program Center in Ft. Collins, Colorado, is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive landscape scale biological inventory and monitoring program for the NWRS. This program will involve development and application of a wide array of protocols and tools for use throughout the NWRS and provide a central repository for inventory and monitoring data. An associated information technology program will enable data to be stored, analyzed, synthesized, and made available for use by NWRS staff as well as a wide array of partners within and outside the government.

The Division of Refuge Law Enforcement provides policy, training, and budgeting functions for the NWRS law enforcement program. More than 400 officers nationwide are commissioned to enforce the laws protecting the Nation’s wildlife resources and their habitats, providing for visitor and employee safety, and protecting the public infrastructure. Refuge officers across the NWRS routinely deal with a myriad of crimes, including drug cultivation and production, in addition to the traditional natural resource crimes that occur on our public lands.

The Division of Realty acquires land interests for the NWRS and the National Fish Hatchery System using primarily the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. Nationally, Realty develops policy guidance, performs management oversight, and issues annual reports on the acquisition, utilization, and disposition of the Service’s land interests. Overall responsibilities include Acquisition Management, Real Estate Operations, Appraisal, Cartography, and Land Surveying. The Chief of the Division of Realty also serves as the Secretary of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. <www.fws.gov/realty>

The Division of Visitor Services and Communications is responsible for leading national programs to promote the highest quality visitor experiences on refuges; oversee the national Refuge Friends and Volunteer programs; provide policy and coordination related to cultural resource, fee and concession programs; administer Service Roads and Transportation programs; and lead a strategic, coordinated, and integrated communications program that builds long-term relationships and support for the NWRS. Using field station input from the Accomplishment Reporting System and other mechanisms, the Division develops the bimonthly Refuge Update newsletter, the quarterly Friends Forward newsletter, and a variety of materials and information for national media, among other communication tools. The Division of Information Technology and Management: 1) develops and manages nationwide databases such as RMIS to support budget and management decision-making for refuge operations and maintenance and LRS which supports land acquisition and ownership programs; 2) coordinates geospatial data efforts for the NWRS; 3) manages the NWRS facility and equipment maintenance program to include managing budget information for maintenance, construction, and roads funding; maintaining a complete inventory of assets; coordinating condition assessments; 4) is lead for the Service in developing and implementing the Asset Management Plan and the Service Asset and Maintenance Management System; 5) is lead for NWRS accountability and management improvement activities under the Chief Financial Officer’s Act, IG and GAO audits, and Internal Control Reviews; and 6) develops and maintains national Web sites for the NWRS and a nationwide Web Content Management System.

The NWRS Office of Budget, Performance & Workforce provides four primary functions for the Refuge System: (1) formulating
budgets, (2) executing budgets, (3) performance management, and (4) workforce planning. The office works with the Service’s Division of Budget and others to formulate national budgets for the Refuge System, and when appropriations are made, the office allocates budgets and tracks how funding is spent. The Office manages performance matters for the Refuge System by gathering information through the Refuge Annual Performance Planning (RAPP) system every year and uses that information to report to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on performance. The office also tracks workforce information for the Refuge System and uses that information to communicate to Congress, OMB and others about workforce issues and needs.


Native American Liaison
1211 SE Cardinal Court
Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683
Chief Houdikoff Family Fishing on Attu, credit Victor B. Scheffer

Working together with Regional Native American Liaison officials and leaders from federally recognized Tribes nationwide, the Native American Liaison, located under External Affairs, identifies areas in which both Federal and Tribal conservation efforts can most effectively conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. The Regional Native American Desks and the Native American Liaison combine their backgrounds in wildlife biology, conservation, and Indian law and policy to achieve the best possible conservation scenario in Indian Country.

The Federal government has a unique and distinctive political relationship with federally recognized Indian tribes. It is defined by treaties, statutes, executive orders, judicial decisions and agreements and differs from relationships with state and local governments or other entities. It has given rise to a special Federal trust responsibility, involving the legal responsibilities and obligations of the United States toward Indian tribes and the application of fiduciary standards of due care with respect to Indian lands, tribal trust resources and the exercise of tribal rights. The Service has a mandated obligation to ensure that the Federal Indian trust responsibility is fulfilled.

Roles & Responsibilities
Responsibilities of the Native American Liaison include:

  • Providing counsel to the Directorate concerning Native American issues impacting Service operations.
  • Serving as point of contact for Tribal conservation issues.
  • Providing implementation of the Tribal Wildlife Grant programs.
  • Serving as liaison to Tribal governments for wildlife conservation issues that impact Federal and Tribal resources.
  • Developing guidance materials, such as handbooks, Director’s and Secretarial Orders, as well as legal and policy memoranda
    regarding Tribal/Service issues.

Native American Liaisons:
Washington, D.C., Office - Pat Durham 703/358-1728
Region 1 - Pat Gonzales-Rogers 503/231-6123
Region 2 – Joe Early 505/248-6602
Region 3 - Tim Patronski 612/713-5168
Region 4 –Tom MacKenzi 404/679-7291
Region 5 - D.J. Monette 413/253-8662
Region 6 – Kim Greenwood 303/236-4575
Region 7 – Larry Bell 907/786-3431
Region 8 – David Wooten 916/414-6576


Partner and Intergovernmental Affairs
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: ES
Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703/358-1711 Fax: 703/358-2548
Seining in a Stream with Partners, credit Brian Jonkers/USFWS

Located within External Affairs, the Division of Program and Partnership Support provides strategic leadership to enhance Service partnerships by identifying needs, improving crossagency relationships, streamlining methods of developing partnership agreements, and providing a central repository for partnership-related information. DPPS also provides a wide array of communications products encompassing web, print, video and emerging social media.

Roles & Responsibilities

Program and Partnership Support consists of four branches, Printing and Publishing, Web Policy and Compliance, Multi Media Technology, and the Office of Partnership Liaison. DPPS works with all Service programs by:

  • Serving as the liaison with Regions, Programs, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and outside entities to develop new partnerships and assist current ones. DPPS maintains a database of major partnership agreements and the partnerships web portal.
  • Managing Service support for the federally chartered Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. The SFBPC was established in 1993 to advise the Director and the Secretary of the Interior about aquatic conservation endeavors that benefit recreational fishery resources and recreational boating and that encourage partnerships among industry, the public, and government.
  • Managing Service support for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF). The RBFF, a non-profit organization created in 1998, works under a cooperative agreement with the Service to carry out a congressionally mandated communication effort to increase boating and fishing participation and promote conservation and the responsible use of aquatic resources.
  • Managing Service support for the federally-chartered Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (WHHCC). The WHHCC was established in 2010 to advise the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture on recreational hunting and shooting sports activities and associated wildlife and habitat conservation.
  • Maintaining the Service home page on the Web and implementing Internet policy guidance.
  • Overseeing the Customer Service Center, a national Service communications center established in 2003 to provide greater information services to the public. Through 800/344-WILD and <contact 2@fws.gov> internet e-mail address, the public has
    enjoyed greatly improved access to the Service.
  • Managing the Service’s multimedia, printing, and publications requirements.


Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR)
5275 Leesburg Pike
Mail Stop: WSFR
Arlington, Virginia 22203
Phone: (703) 358-2156 Fax: (703) 358-1837
J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, credit George Gentry/USFWS

Two of the cornerstone conservation programs in the United States are the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs. For more than 70 years, these programs have played key roles in conserving fish and wildlife. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act was passed in 1937. The Act created a partnership among State and Federal governments, hunters, shooters, and their industries. The Act directed a Federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition to fund State wildlife projects to conserve wildlife resources. The Wildlife Restoration Program is based on the “user pay-user benefit” philosophy. To date, more than $5 billion has been used to restore white-tailed deer, wild turkey, other wildlife, and habitat and to provide hunter safety education.

The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act was passed by Congress in 1950 and also is based on the “user pay-user
benefit” philosophy. The Act and subsequent amendments (notably the Wallop-Breaux Amendment) direct Federal excise taxes on sport fishing equipment and motorboat fuels to be used for sport fishery conservation and boating access projects. The Act brought State and Federal agencies, anglers, and boaters together to form conservation partnerships. Striped bass, American shad, largemouth bass, and many other species have benefited significantly from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which has funded research on whirling disease in trout species and taught more than 5.7 million Americans about fishing and the aquatic environment. To date, more than $5 billion has been used for sport fishery conservation and boating access opportunities throughout the country.

Roles & Responsibilities

Multi-state Conservation Grants—This program funds sport fishery and wildlife research projects, boating access development, hunter safety, aquatic education, habitat improvement, and other projects that benefit at least 26 States, or a majority of the States in a region of the Fish and Wildlife Service, or a regional association of State fish and wildlife agencies.

Clean Vessel Act—This competitive program enables States to build pumpout and wastewater dump stations for the disposal of
sewage from recreational boats.

Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG)—This two-part formula and competitive grant program supports States in building and
enhancing facilities for transient recreational boats 26 feet long or larger.

Coastal Wetlands—This competitive program authorizes the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to grant funds to coastal States to carry out coastal wetlands conservation projects.

State Wildlife Grants Program—This program provides Federal funds to States for the development and implementation of programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including species that are not hunted or fished. Additionally, a portion of the State Wildlife Grant funds are awarded based on criteria in a nationally competitive subprogram.

Sport Fish Restoration Program—The program assists State fish and wildlife agencies with sport fish management, boating access, and aquatic education projects. States receive apportionments of excise taxes based on size of the state and the number of licensed anglers.

Wildlife Restoration Program—The program assists State fish and wildlife agencies with restoration of wild birds and mammals; acquisition, development, and management of their habitats; hunter safety education; and development and management of shooting ranges. States receive apportionments of excise taxes based on the physical size of the state and the number of licensed hunters.

Financial Assistance Coordination—The WSFR Program provides the Service with consistent policies and procedures for administering and managing financial assistance. WSFR accomplishes this role through the work of the Financial Assistance Coordination Team (FACT). The membership of FACT is comprised of Regional and Program representatives who administer FWS financial assistance programs identified in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. The FACT is integral to streamlining and standardizing FWS grant management practices. More information on the work of the FACT may be found at <wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/FACT/fact.html>.

Public Access Civil Rights Program—The WSFR program provides policy oversight to ensure that members of the public who participate in programs and activities funded by the Service have equal access to those programs, activities, and facilities where the programs take place; and that recipients of Federal financial assistance, primarily grants to State fish and wildlife agencies funded by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration office (WSFR), do not exclude people from any program, activity or facility; deny them benefits; or otherwise discriminate against them on grounds of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex in educational programs.

Last updated: September 25, 2014
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