A hard hat worn by a USFWS Maintenance Action Team member during a construction project at Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge.

Maintenance Action Teams are groups of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees brought together to work on short-term construction, demolition or habitat restoration projects that would otherwise go to a private contractor. The teams are usually made up of wage-grade employees from many field stations across one or more regions.

Maintenance Action Teams save money for the Fish and Wildlife Service while they build skills and strengthen the cohesiveness of the Service’s professional wage-group workforce. They build camaraderie among wage-grade employees. They help refine employees’ trade skill sets. They make the Service more resilient and adaptable as an agency.

In fiscal year 2020, Maintenance Action Teams

  • demolished 40,000 square feet of Service structures
  • completed seven projects, saving more than 50 percent (about $1 million) of estimated contract costs
  • repaired hurricane damage to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Pennsylvania
  • trained 10 maintenance professionals in leadership and job skills. 

In 2016-17 a Maintenance Action Team saved $1 million on building a 6,400-square-foot office and visitor contact station at Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. 

At Great River National Wildlife Refuge, a team renovated a 35-year-old headquarters building.