Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: Who Qualifies? Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Goals

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program?
The PFW Program is a voluntary program that provides technical assistance and cost-share incentives to private landowners to restore fish and wildlife habitat.

Who can become a partner?
Any privately owned land is eligible for the PFW Program. "Privately owned" includes any land that is not owned by State or Federal government. Other project partners may be involved in funding, design, and implementation and may include national, regional, state, county, and local agencies, communities, non-profit organizations, corporations, and educational institutions.

How do I enroll?
Contact any Virginia PFW Program staff for more information.

What type of lands and waters are eligible to be restored?
Any land that is potential wildlife habitat and has been altered or degraded is eligible for enrollment.

Do landowners have to allow public access to their lands if they participate in the program?
No. Landowners retain all access rights to the property. PFW Program employees may occasionally request access for project monitoring while the agreement is in effect. State or federal regulatory agencies may need to access the site for permit compliance during and immediately after project completion.

What is a landowner agreement?
Before a project is implemented, the landowner must sign an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) that protects the federal investment made with public funds. Each agreement must be for a minimum of 10 years. An agreement states that a landowner will not return the project to its former state, or damage/destroy the project during the agreement period without reimbursing the Service.

How is financial assistance provided?
The Service and project partners provide financial assistance to landowners for habitat restoration projects. The amount of cost-share may vary by project, depending on partners involved and type of project. Landowners may help with project construction and be reimbursed directly for their expenses, the Service may hire a contractor, or a Service biologist may complete the project themselves.

When will restoration activities be done?
The project will be completed as soon as possible. However, many factors can affect project completion date, including weather, funding, permitting and compliance, staffing constraints, and priority among other projects.

Where does the PFW Program focus its efforts?
The Program focuses in areas that will have the most impact on trust resources (migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, anadromous fish) and complement national wildlife refuges. The presence of other permanently protected lands or lands identified as priority lands may also be considerd.

The Virginia PFW Program has identified several watershed and species-based areas in Virginia comprising 5 priority areas within the state. The program will focus their efforts in these areas, but may also do occasional projects not in the focus areas.

Who is responsible for project maintenance?
Many habitat restoration projects will not require any maintenance. However, if maintenance is required it is typically the responsibility of the landowner. Any repairs that are required due to design or construction failure will be the responsibility of the Service.


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Restore the habitats of federal trust species on private lands, including tribal, county and municipal lands

Restore wetlands, riparian, in-stream and native upland habitats

Remove barriers to fish passage

Leverage funds and resources through efficient state, federal and private partnerships

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Last updated: August 24, 2018