What We Do

The Reno Fish and Wildlife Officeis responsible for supporting the recovery of 31 endangered and threatened species found in Nevada's Great Basin, the Eastern Sierra, and the Tahoe Basin. Our goal is to help federally threatened and endangered plants and wildlife recover to healthy population levels and to prevent new species from needing the protections of the Endangered Species Act through proactive conservation. Working with our partners, we focus much of our work in  sagebrush sagebrush
The western United States’ sagebrush country encompasses over 175 million acres of public and private lands. The sagebrush landscape provides many benefits to our rural economies and communities, and it serves as crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the iconic greater sage-grouse and over 350 other species.

Learn more about sagebrush
country including Nevada's precious  riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
and spring systems, where the majority of sensitive wildlife and plant species are found. 

For a deeper dive into the Reno office's work and accomplishments, check out our 2022 Year in Review.

Management and Conservation

Aquatic species conservation

Nevada is the driest state in the country. Yet, the state is also home to the largest inland cutthroat trout in the world, the Lahontan cutthroat trout, and many other rare, endemic aquatic species because of its unique spring systems and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
areas. Water is a precious resource in Nevada, and our office is working with a variety of stakeholders to develop collaborative strategies that balance water use to ensure healthy aquatic habitats capable of sustaining listed fish species and other native wildlife.

Sagebrush ecosystem conservation

Sagebrush is an important ecosystem for many sensitive species across Nevada and California. With less than half of the original sagebrush sagebrush
The western United States’ sagebrush country encompasses over 175 million acres of public and private lands. The sagebrush landscape provides many benefits to our rural economies and communities, and it serves as crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the iconic greater sage-grouse and over 350 other species.

Learn more about sagebrush
ecosystem remaining, the Reno Fish and Wildlife Office is committed to helping conserve and restore sagebrush habitat to help the species that rely on it including the Bi-state greater sage-grouse, the Columbia spotted frog, pygmy rabbit and many birds of prey.

Native seed collection and capacity

Native plant communities support healthy fish and wildlife populations, and that is why we believe in using the right seed, in the right place, at the right time. Our office participates in the Seeds of Success program - a national native seed collection program that works to improve access to native seed. Seeds of Success is led by Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with other organizations. In 2018, the Reno office hired its first Seeds of Success interns, who collected the second highest number of wild, native seeds when compared to all other teams across the nation. The mission of Seeds of Success is to collect wildland native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation, and ecosystem restoration, and to support BLM's Native Plant Materials Development Program, which increases the quality and quantity of native plant materials available for restoring and supporting local ecosystems. A portion of each collection goes into long-term conservation storage, with the remainder available for research and restoration. Healthy ecosystems composed of native plants provide the essential ecological services upon which all life depends, including our own.

You can take a closer look into the work of seed collection by visiting @insr969 on YouTube, the International Network for Seed-based Restoration's official account. On their channel they have a documentary series called "Native Seeds" that takes a deep dive into the work of native seed collection.

Invasive species management

Reducing or when possible, eliminating  invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
in the Great Basin and beyond is critical in preventing large-scale wildfires and restoring and maintaining healthy habitats for fish and wildlife. Aquatic and terrestrial invasive species hybridize with native species, reducing the genetic integrity of Nevada's native species. They also outcompete native species in some cases, soaking up valuable resources and ultimately pushing out native plants and animals that rely on those ecosystems for survival. Our office is working with others across the region to reduce occurrences of some of the worst offenders and curtail the spread of new invasive species into the area. 

Working with partners

We work with other state and federal agencies, organizations and private landowners to build relationships and coalitions that accomplish meaningful conservation. Our office participates in a number of collaborative groups that bring diverse stakeholders together to ensure the continued existence of healthy wildlife populations and economies tied to the land. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides funding and technical assistance to private landowners who want to support native wildlife and habitat on their lands.

Through the formation of strong partnerships, on-the-ground conservation projects, and our commitment to mitigating invasive species, the Reno Fish and Wildlife Office works towards the mission of the agency - to conserve, enhance and protect fish wildlife, plants and their habitats in partnership with our local communities.

Our Services

Administration of the Endangered Species Act

The Reno Fish and Wildlife Office uses the best available science and sound managerial techniques to further the Service's mission to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

In doing this, our staff integrate wildlife conservation tools with social, political, and economic realities to ensure sound resource decisions while recognizing the importance of a partnership approach.

We recognize the importance of addressing the needs of stakeholders, since the vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is in private ownership. In addition, education and information dissemination are integral parts of all of our activities.

As the principal federal partner responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA), we take the lead in recovering and conserving our Nation's imperiled species by fostering partnerships, employing scientific excellence, and developing a workforce of conservation leaders. As we work in partnership with others, our two major goals are to: 1) Protect endangered and threatened species, and then pursue their recovery; and 2) Conserve candidate species and species-at-risk so that listing under the ESA is not necessary. 

Partners for Fish and Wildlife 

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's habitat restoration cost-sharing program for private landowners. Partners for Fish and Wildlife emphasizes the enhancement and restoration of ecological communities for the benefit of native fish and wildlife in conjunction with the management objectives of private landowners. 

Partners for Fish and Wildlife was established to provide technical and financial assistance to private (nonfederal and nonstate) landowners who wish to restore fish and wildlife habitat on their land.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Implement proactive, voluntary, on-the-ground habitat restoration projects that benefit federal trust species and their habitats on private and tribal lands.
  • Provide technical and financial assistance to landowners who are interested in providing suitable habitat for fish and wildlife on their property.
  • Provide leadership and promote partnerships using the Service's and other organizations' expertise.
  • Conduct public outreach to broaden understanding of fish and wildlife habitats while encouraging and demonstrating conservation efforts.
     

For more information about our local Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, contact our staff in Reno (Susan Abele – Nevada State Coordinator, Susan_Abele@fws.gov, 775-861-6346); Winnemucca (Cheryl Mandich, Cheryl_Mandich@fws.gov, 775-447-0818). 

Our Projects and Research

Native seed collection and capacity

Native plant communities support healthy fish and wildlife populations, and that is why we believe in using the right seed, in the right place, at the right time. Our office participates in the Seeds of Success program - a national native seed collection program that works to improve access to native seed. Seeds of Success is led by Bureau of Land Management, in partnership with other organizations. In 2018, the Reno office hired its first Seeds of Success interns, who collected the second highest number of wild, native seeds when compared to all other teams across the nation. The mission of Seeds of Success is to collect wildland native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation, and ecosystem restoration, and to support BLM's Native Plant Materials Development Program, which increases the quality and quantity of native plant materials available for restoring and supporting local ecosystems. A portion of each collection goes into long-term conservation storage, with the remainder available for research and restoration. Healthy ecosystems composed of native plants provide the essential ecological services upon which all life depends, including our own.

Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery 

While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the ESA, many state, federal, local, non-governmental organizations and other collaborative entities are involved in the conservation of Lahontan cutthroat trout. In order to promote and support the conservation and survival of endangered species and threatened species, and provide a transparent path to achieving recovery, the Service, with our partners, develops and implements recovery plans. Recovery plans guide management actions to support the downlisting or eventual delisting of species protected under the ESA. Each recovery plan has a set of goals and objectives that guide recovery for a listed species, like a roadmap.

In 2019, Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery partners worked collaboratively to update the goals and objectives within the Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery plan to guide conservation of Lahontan cutthroat trout using the best available science. The updated recovery plan is reflective of our current understanding of Lahontan cutthroat trout, habitat requirements and threats. Since they are not prescriptive, the Updated Goals and Objectives provide flexibility and encourage collaboration with stakeholders so that together, we can identify recovery actions and where and how to meet the objectives for Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery in each management unit. By working with the people who live and work within these ten management units, we can collectively identify the best places to focus recovery of this species.

Resilient Lahontan cutthroat trout populations are a by-product of healthy, functioning riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
habitats. Healthy waters with Lahontan cutthroat trout provide significantly more resources to our communities, including increased water quality and quantity, forage for wildlife and livestock, drought-resiliency, and angling opportunities, as well as potential fire-breaks.

To recover Lahontan cutthroat trout across its historical habitat, we must meaningfully manage its greatest threats: non-native trout and habitat loss and degradation. We cannot recover the Lahontan cutthroat trout alone. We invite all stakeholder groups, including local communities, ranchers, anglers, and recreationalists, to be part of Lahontan cutthroat trout recovery actions.