Private Lands Restoration Program

Private Lands 512x512

Restored wetland on private land near Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

The Partners Program works with willing private landowners to restore, enhance, and maintain valuable fish and wildlife habitat while leaving the land in private ownership. The program can provide both financial and technical assistance for a wide range of habitat restoration projects. Projects range from simple weed control projects to complete wetland or upland restoration efforts. 

Past landowners worked with the program to install water control structures on outlet ditches, excavate wetland bottoms to increase open-water habitat, revegetate stream banks, control invasive species, and others. The Partners program biologist works with interested landowners to plan and complete the project or find another program, such as Farm Bill related programs, that provides a better overall project fit.

The Partners Program located at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge focuses on wetland and upland restoration within the Channeled Scablands Focus Area.  This focus area covers nearly 1.5 million acres of Channeled Scabland habitat within Spokane, Lincoln, Adams and Whitman counties. The focus area is characterized by the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington, the result of glacial floods during the Pleistocene. 

The focus area includes more than 22,000 wetland basins covering nearly 76,000 acres; over 80% of these wetland basins are in private ownership.  Agriculture and grazing activity in the late 1800’s resulted in major wetland drainage efforts throughout the Channeled Scablands. Few wetlands outside of state or federal ownership have been restored to increase water storage capacity and habitat availability to levels approximating the landscape prior to the ditching efforts. 



Program Assistance   

The Partners Program can provide the following assistance with your restoration project:

1. Financial assistance up to $25,000 per project and assistance finding funding for projects costing over $25,000

2. Technical assistance on various aspects of wetland restoration, weed control and forest health

3. Assistance with permit applications for various restoration project types

4. Weed management plans, herbicide applications and bio-control deployment

5. Complete project planning and oversight

6. Tree/shrub revegetation and grass/forb seeding

7. Project specific wetland delineation


Participation in the Partners program requires an agreement with the federal government to spend federal funds on private land and to protect the project for a minimum of 10 years. This is accomplished through a landowner agreement and is not recorded on the property deed. Additionally, the landowner is required to provide a match of 50 percent of the total project cost. This can be accomplished through project assistance, other funding mechanisms, or direct financial assistance to the overall project. The Partners biologist will help in developing a way to address the match for the project.  

If you are interested in restoring wetlands or uplands on your property and need assistance, please contact us. We look forward to working with you on your project.