What We Do
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support and guidance to almost 200 Friends partnerships nationwide and facilitates the formation of new partnerships at all staffed national wildlife refuges or refuge complexes. Training, mentoring, networking and skill-building opportunities increase group capacity while fostering individual growth.
A Friends partnership is made up of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Friends organization and a refuge or complex of refuges. The partnership is formalized in a Friends Partnership Agreement. All refuge Friends organizations share the same primary mission: the support of a refuge, a complex of refuges or a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Refuge Friends groups have flourished since the passage of the Volunteer and Community Partnership Act of 1998, which directs the Refuge System to encourage volunteer assistance, facilitate non-federal partnerships and encourage donations by organizations.