Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Who We Are

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program is “to efficiently achieve voluntary habitat restoration on private lands through financial and technical assistance for the benefit of federal trust species and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”

The Service works closely with landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits to achieve meaningful and lasting conservation of wildlife habitat on their land.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is found across the nation and undertakes  projects which share a common set of priorities: species conservation, habitat connectivity, and resilient ecosystems. ( Partners Implementation Plan 2022-2026.pdf)

Where We Work

The Partners Program located at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge focuses on wetland and upland habitat restoration within the Southwest Washington Focus Area.  This landscape, which borders the Pacific Ocean, Willapa Bay, and the Columbia River, has been identified as a high priority for recovery of imperiled species such as the western snowy plover, streaked horned lark, marbled murrelet, Columbian white-tailed deer, and Oregon Silverspot butterfly, in addition to chum and coho salmon. Habitat types include rivers, streams, estuarine bays, barrier beaches and coastal dunes, coniferous forests, coastal prairies, marshes, and intertidal mudflats. Over 80% of the land is in private ownership.

What We Do

Past restoration projects:

  • Assistance with forest restoration thinning to improve and accelerate the growth of evergreen trees to become suitable nesting habitat for marbled murrelets.
  • Decommission unused and unstable logging roads that contribute to habitat fragmentation, erosion and sediment runoff which degrades water quality and habitat for salmon and other species.
  • Remove levees and drainage ditches to restore tidal connections to marshes to benefit juvenile salmon and other aquatic species.
  • Restore scrub/shrub and Sitka spruce habitat to benefit Columbian white-tailed deer.
  • Replacing failing culverts and passage barriers in fish bearing streams.
  • Coastal meadow restoration to benefit pollinators.
  • Wetland restoration and enhancement to benefit migratory birds and fish.
  • Coastal dune restoration to benefit threatened species like western snowy plover and streaked horned larks, and coastal native plants, such as pink sand verbena.