The Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office restores fish and wildlife habitat in the Upper Klamath Basin. Restoration work occurs voluntarily, and the primary focus is to work with private landowners through the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. The National Fish Passage Program also provides significant contributions.
If you are interested in habitat restoration, contact the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, 1936 California Avenue Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601. Telephone number is 541-885-8481.
Why the Klamath Basin Matters
The headwaters for the Klamath Basin start in the arid mountains east of the Cascade Range in southern Oregon. Downstream, these waters support one of the largest lake-wetlands complexes in the western US. These unique aquatic habitats in the Upper Klamath Basin support the incredible biodiversity for which the watershed is celebrated. Water is also a critical economic resource as it is used for irrigating crops and supporting cattle across the Basin, where there is a long history of highly productive farming and ranching.
River, riparian, lake, and wetland habitats are what make the Klamath Basin unique. These habitats historically supported millions of fish and waterbirds. Wetlands and riparian habitats also provide key ecosystem services that sequester nutrients and provide habitat for all life stages of fish native to the basin. More than half of the wetlands in the Basin have been modified by draining, levee construction, and agricultural practices. These changes have impacted populations of all species that depend on these habitats including water dependent birds, fish, and other organisms.
Examples of fish and wildlife habitat projects:
• Stream channel restoration
• Fish passage improvement
• Streamside fencing and planting
• Wetland restoration and enhancement
• Spring reconnection to water bodies
• Increased oak woodland vitality
• Other identified needs
Through the Partners Program, we provide federal funds and assistance to accomplish habitat restoration projects. We seek to restore natural processes that allow fish and wildlife to thrive. Every project is an opportunity for restoration specialists to work with landowners. The interests of participating landowners are always respected and integrated into projects. The Partners Program often works closely with local organizations to maximize the expertise and technical assistance provided to the community.
The Partners Program provides several types of assistance:
• Assessing project sites
• Project planning and design
• Permitting and compliance
• Project implementation
• Grant writing assistance
• Partnership building
• Evaluating project success
• Outreach and education
Additional funding can come from other sources, such as federal, state, and local agencies; non-profit organizations; and for-profit corporations. Landowners are expected to contribute in some ways, such as labor, materials, project design or cash.