Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
A Unit of the
Pacific Southwest Region
Ecological Services | California

Partners for Fish & Wildlife

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides financial and technical assistance to private landowners to voluntarily restore or enhance native habitats on their land.

Eligible Landowners

  • Private landowners, corporations, local agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and tribal governments.
  • A third party is eligible to apply for funding to conduct the project in cooperation with a private landowner
  • Federal and State lands are not eligible for the program

Representative Projects

  • Projects target on-the-ground efforts to restore or enhance native plant and animal communities.
  • Methods to implement a project usually are simple but effective. Examples include, but are not limited to, installation of fences to protect riparian and other sensitive habitats, planting of native trees and shrubs to provide nesting habitat and to control erosion, and removal of invasive weeds.
  • Environmental education activities are eligible if related to habitat restoration.
  • Projects should be completed within 1 to 2 years of funding approval.
  • Non-eligible activities include research, surveys, long term monitoring, land acquisition, and activities required by a permit or other mandate.

Program Signup

  • Landowners may request assistance at any time during the year.
  • Landowners simply contact the local Partners Program representative to discuss project ideas and to determine program eligibility. After initial discussions and site visits, restoration staff will determine project feasibility and whether the project is a good fit for the program.
  • If the restoration staff determines the project can be supported, then we will work with partners to determine the most appropriate habitat improvements and to develop a comprehensive Project Work Plan. The Project Work Plan will include the final project design, schedule, and budget. Our biologists will work with you to complete the Work Plan as needed.
  • Funding selection will generally be made by May of each year. However, we develop projects year-round, AND funding is limited and discretionary, so don’t wait until the last minute to approach us with project ideas.

Project Selection Factors

  • Projects are selected based on their benefits to Federal trust resources, including migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, declining species, anadromous fish, and their habitats.
  • General order of priority for funding: (1) restoration; (2) enhancement; and (3) creation.
  • Other factors can influence project selection and include a higher cost share ratio, greater habitat benefits, longer commitment to maintain the improvement, project readiness, and more project partners.

Wildlife Extension Agreement

  • To protect taxpayer investment, landowners agree to retain habitat improvements for at least 10 years, longer commitments are welcome.
  • The Partners Program representative conducts periodic site visits to monitor progress of project.
  • No public access is required. The landowner retains all rights to the property including the right to control access

Reimbursement of Project Costs

The Partners Program strives to maintain a minimum 1:1 cost share ratio. Cost share funding is generally limited to $25,000 per project and is paid on a reimbursable basis. Cost sharing by the landowner or other project partners can be in the form of cash, or materials and services valued at local market rates (in-kind services). For example, the landowner may provide the labor and use of specialized equipment, while the Partners program may reimburse (within 45 days) for cash expenditures. Outside contributions are encouraged to expand the partnership and improve the cost-sharing ratios. Landowners do not receive rental, easement, or maintenance payments

Can Others Contribute?

The Partners Program can match funds to help finance a restoration project. Funding can come from Federal, State and local agencies, soil and water conservation districts, and a wide variety of non-governmental partners such as Ducks Unlimited and land trusts.

We cannot implement projects that fulfill mitigation requirements.

Where can I get more information online?

National Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Pacific Southwest Region Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003
TEL: 805-644-1766 or FAX: 805-644-3658

The Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office serves the following counties: Ventura, Los Angeles (north and west part), Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo (excluding Carrizo Plain), Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.

For assistance with projects located in all other counties of California, please go to our Regional webpage's Program Contacts (listed on right hand side) to find a local program coordinator in your area and/or to contact our State Coordinator, Matt Hamman.

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Our Address

Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
US Fish and Wildlife Service
2493 Portola Road, Suite B
Ventura, California 93003