Employee Pocket Guide
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Introduction to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Warden Paul Kroegel. Credit: George Nelson/USFWS
Warden Paul Kroegel, credit George Nelson/USFWS

Past and Present

More than a hundred years ago, America’s fish and wildlife resources were declining at an alarming rate. Concerned scientists, hunting and angling groups, and citizens joined together to restore and sustain our national wildlife heritage. This was the genesis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Today, the Service enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores vital wildlife habitat, protects and recovers endangered species, and helps other governments with conservation efforts. It also administers a Wildlife and
Sport Fish Restoration program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to states for fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, and related projects across America. The funds come from Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting arms and equipment, and on motorboat fuel.

Conserving Healthy Habitats

Habitat loss is the major reason for the decline of most of the world’s fish, wildlife, and plant species. The Service helps conserve habitat through the National Wildlife Refuge System. In addition, the agency works with other public and private landowners to help conserve plant and wildlife ecosystems outside Service lands. To ensure the health of wildlife habitat, employees examine the effects of Federal activities on fish and wildlife species and their habitats, as well as monitor environmental contaminants affecting fish and wildlife.

Restoring Declining Species

The Service seeks to restore declining species through wildlife conservation and management, enforcing fish and wildlife laws, controlling exotic nuisance species, and informing citizens about how they can help. National wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries play a critical role in protecting and restoring depleted species.

Working with Others

Sustaining our Nation’s fish and wildlife resources is a task that can be accomplished only through the combined efforts of governments, businesses, and private citizens. The Service works with State and Federal agencies and Tribal governments, helps corporate and private landowners conserve habitat, cooperates with other nations to halt illegal wildlife trade, and works with volunteers at National Wildlife Refuges and other locations across the country.

Education and Training

A highly trained workforce and an informed public are critical to the future of America’s fish and wildlife. The Service conducts conservation training for its employees and natural resource organizations both in the United States and around the world. The Service provides scientific, policy, and educational information to the public.

Places for Wildlife and People

People and nature are linked in various ways. Wildlife and wild places give people special opportunities to have fun, relax, and appreciate our natural world. Whether through birdwatching, fishing, hunting, photography, or other wildlife pursuits, wildlife recreation contributes millions of dollars to local economies. Our fish and wildlife heritage contributes to the quality of our lives and is an integral part of our Nation’s greatness. As citizens of our global community, we can all work together to conserve the nature of our world.



Last updated: July 16, 2013
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