What We Do

The Division of Realty supports the acquisition and management of Service Lands utilizing the Migratory Bird Conservation and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Chief of the Division is the Secretary of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and the Division serves as staff to the MBCC. The Service's Chief Cartographer, Chief Surveyor, and the Realty staff make up the Division of Realty.


  • Develops and implements National Guidance for the Service's land acquisition program.
  • Coordinates with other divisions/offices of the Service on regulations affecting the control and disposition of Service lands.
  • Provides assistance to the public on national land acquisition issues.
  • Reviews and analyzes legislation pertaining to Service land acquisition.
  • Awards

Base Program

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina
  • Provides policy and guidance associated with acquisition of interests in land through lease, purchase, exchange, donation, withdrawal from the Public Domain or by management agreement.
  • Coordinates and prepares reports associated with the real property utilization surveys,disposal of lands or interests therein including rights-of-way, revenue sharing payments and lands under control of the Service.
  • Coordinates transfer of surplus real property to the States, approval of exchanges.
  • Coordinates land acquisition planning using the Service's Land Acquisition Priority System.
  • Requests Congressional approval of reprogramming of funds, over-appraisal acquisitions.
  • Coordinates the presentation of land acquisition proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.
  • Responds to external inquiries on national land acquisition issues.

Realty Support

A person surveying land
Chief Surveyor
  • Coordination of Service-wide cadastral survey programs to insure that the seven Regional Offices have the technical expertise and personnel to accomplish their Regional responsibilities.
  • Serves as the technical expert on all relevant boundary issues on all Service lands.
  • Serves as the FWS consulting specialist for the cadastral survey program regarding Federal, State, Tribal and private entities activities.
Chief Appraiser
  • The Appraisal function within the Fish and Widlife Service has been transferred to the Department of the Interior's National Business Center.
  • A final announcement of the transfer was made by Secretary of the Interior Norton on November 12, 2003.
Chief Cartographer
  • Provides technical expertise and national leadership in all matters that relate to the cartographic requirements and responsibilities of the Division of Realty. This includes all spatial data products, policy, systems, and procedures produced and maintained by Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Land Information System (LIS), and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies.
  • Responsible for the maintenance of the hard-copy permanent master land status atlas for all lands administered by the Service.
  • Represents the Division of Realty and is the Service data steward for the development, maintenance, and oversight of national policy and standards on all spatial data matters and products that relate and pertain to land interests, acquisitions, status, and ownerships administered by the Service.
  • Represents the Division of Realty and is the Service representative on national level intra-agency and inter-agency mapping and spatial data forums and committees. Serves as the Data Steward for the land boundary digital data set.