The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long tradition of scientific excellence and always uses the best-available science to inform its work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat for the benefit of the American public.
Created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, today's National Wildlife Refuge System protects habitats and wildlife across the country, from the Alaskan tundra to subtropical wetlands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge System's 560-plus refuges cover more than 150 million acres and protect nearly 1,400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
While national wildlife refuges were created to protect wildlife, they are for people too. Refuges are ideal places for people of all ages to explore and connect with the natural world. We invite you to learn more about and visit the national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Mountain-Prairie Region's Office of Ecological Services (ES) works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, ES personnel work with Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to our Nation's natural resources.
Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations. The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region helps conserve, protect, and enhance aquatic resources and provides economically valuable recreational fishing to anglers across the country. The program comprises 12 National Fish Hatcheries.
Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. The Office of Law Enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.
External Affairs staff in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support to the regional office and field stations to communicate and faciliate information about the Service's programs to the public, media, Congress, Tribes, partners, and other stakeholders in the 8-state region.
Migrating waterfowl on restored wetland. Credit: USFWS.
The Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program began in 1988 and has evolved into a truely statewide cooperative effort. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), CPW Wetland Wildlife Conservation Program, Great Outdoors Colorado (lottery proceeds), Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, local Water and Soil Conservation Districts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and over 1,000 landowners have combined to restore and protect wetland, upland, and riparian habitat.
Long term goals for the Colorado Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program include:
Working with our partners to prevent the need for futher listing of species as endangered or threatened due to habitat loss
Restoring Colorado's riparian and wetland systems
Contributing to conservation on a landscape scale
The potential for success is best measured not in acres or miles but in the willingness of Colorado's landowners to participate in voluntary, targeted wildlife conservation. Given the significant landscape changes which have occurred and will continue to occur in Colorado, success will need to be measured in the continued viability of Colorado's biodiversity.
Wetland projects in Colorado are primarily restoration activities involving the use of contour terraces and water control to restore wet meadow vegetation. Seasonal and temporary water regimes predominate, providing nesting, foraging and migration habitat for resident and migratory species. Fencing and grazing management are often a part of our projects, particularly in the San Luis Valley where residual cover for nesting is often a principal goal.
Upland restoration and enhancement projects have centered on the habitat needs of the lesser prairie chicken and Gunnison sage grouse. In both cases, grazing management, re-vegetation, fencing, and alternate livestock water sources are the common techniques.
Fencing has been the most common riparian restoration and enhancement technique. The Colorado Partners Program has participated in re-vegetation efforts on occasion, but they are usually associated with projects where an immediate vegetative response is required. Stream restoration training is being acquired by Colorado Partners staff , and we hope to do more in-channel work in the future. It is expected that riparian restoration will be a major component of these projects.