“Ranchers vs Environmentalists” is a longstanding trope. But in the Sunshine State, ranching just may be the last, best hope for ecological salvation.
The USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program was established in 1987 with a core group of biologists and a small budget for on-the-ground wetland restoration projects on private lands. This successful, results-oriented program has garnered support through the years and has grown into a larger and more diversified habitat restoration program assisting more than 46,000 private landowners across the Nation. The Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program provides technical and financial assistance to private and Tribal landowners interested in restoring, enhancing and managing fish and wildlife habitats on their land. Through a landowner agreement, landowners agree to maintain the habitat improvement project for at least ten years, but otherwise retain ownership and full control of their land. Today, the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program is equipped with more than 300 full-time staff, located in all fifty States and Territories. All of our habitat improvement projects are developed on individual basis and implemented at the field level. To get contact information for your local, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/partners/contactUs.html
Mission: "Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats"
“Ranchers vs Environmentalists” is a longstanding trope. But in the Sunshine State, ranching just may be the last, best hope for ecological salvation.
Check out this time-lapse removal of the Collamer Dam along the Eel River in Indiana! Talk about a fast track project: the dam had failed in October 2019 and the partnership worked to have it removed by January 2020! PFW biologist Scott Fetters partnered with the FWS Fish Passage program and the landowner to provide project coordination with all permitting agencies. Removing the dam reconnects 380 miles of upstream habitat and 746 miles of downstream habitat for numerous fish species, as well as the federally listed rabbitsfoot and clubshell mussel. Removing the dam also improves public safety, fishing, kayaking and water quality.
Over the last several months we've truly seen how important partnerships are and how the work of many make the burden light. Although it has taken some creativity, projects across the country have continued to be implemented for wildlife and people despite the unique circumstances. All this couldn't have been done without our partners. Thank you to the landowners, agency people, NGO's, contractors, and countless others in helping us collaboratively fulfill our conservation mission.
The project pictured is in Southern Utah. This stream had been damaged by fire in the upper watershed, mostly through high sediment transport and erosion. Several small structures (around 90) using mostly native material were built last fall on this section of river. The structures are designed to add in-stream habitat complexity, trap sediment, and bring the stream bed back up to the floodplain. This habitat complexity provides places for insects and fish to live, grow, and survive. The stream bed coming back up to the floodplain puts water back in the soil and provides green stream side vegetation important to - well - just about everything. Some of these structures are completely buried under the new stream bed now.
In the spring of 2020 we planned on planting nursery grown native plants like Nuttall's sunflower, milkweed, and several wetland grasses. COVID disrupted our plan - for a while. Through creativity, ingenuity, patience, understanding, and project partners having each others back it was accomplished! THANK YOU TO ALL OUR PARTNERS ON THIS ONE. The landowner, Utah Division of Wildlife, Trout Unlimited, National Turkey Federation, Utah Wild Project, ConocoPhillips, Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative, and volunteers.
Click on the photos for captions. Photo Credit: Jordan Nielson/Trout Unlimited
Cool video of bison grazing a new seeding and managed grazing project in South Dakota! Landowner Steve Hein and his family has worked with USFWS since 2004 to develop a grazing management strategy with his bison herd and preserving the native prairie and restoring wetlands.
We're lucky and fortunate to be invited into the homes of private landowners, to sit down at their kitchen table and talk about how they are recovering America's wildlife.
What a treat it was for us to have a conversation with George and Ann Ihrke and discuss their backgrounds and conservation efforts. Their efforts are important to pollinators, water quality, migratory birds, and so much more. The results are stunning. Thanks to Ryan Askren for the incredible photography and videography. I hope you see his whooping crane video!
Conservation heroes can come from anywhere. Contractors are some of those heroes who don’t get enough love. Many times, contractors are doing the work. They seed, fly planes, spray weeds, grow plants, cut trees, run equipment, collect native plant material, design, monitor, and in this case build fence.
Pictured here, a contractor is removing old failing fence so they can re-build a fence more wildlife, snow, and livestock friendly. This will facilitate wildlife migration, livestock management, and healthier forest and rangelands in Utah.
Species to benefit are numerous and include sagebrush and aspen community songbirds, beavers, elk, mule deer, pollinators, Greater sage-grouse, and Colorado River Cutthroat trout.
It's blazing hot throughout most of the country, so we thought we'd share this photo to cool you down.
Shawn May, Partners Biologist from Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District in Minnesota, captured this photo last winter while they were restoring a prairie. The project was completed in partnership with Pheasants Forever and adds to a large block of permanently protected habitat.
Photo by Shawn May/USFWS
Together, we’ve been growing more places for wildlife and for people. Take a moment to meet one farmer who is putting his conservation ethic into practice.
Whoop, Cackle, Quack! What's with the drained cereal bowl that kid is trying to eat from?
The article at the link below will explain it all. It's a short, fun read!
A squash bee is seen here pollinating a pumpkin flower! Well, one is cleaning itself up after eating and the other one is in the bottom still at work #PollinatorWeek #Pumpkins #Pollinators #Habitat #ItAintAllHoneybees
Job Opportunity! GS12-13 Fish & Wildlife Biologist with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Headquarters office.
Position open to current DOI employees. Closes 7/8/2020.
This position is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Branch of Habitat Restoration. As a Fish and Wildlife Biologist within the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, you will review evolving land management issues and develop best management practices for operational success.
Beautiful things show up when you remove a monoculture of red cedars. Here, a bumble bee feeds on a Hill's thistle.....and at a PFW Hill Prairie restoration site on private land. Thank you private landowners for conserving habitat! #PollinatorWeek #PrivateLandsConservation
In 2007, Kirtland’s warblers were discovered for the first time in Central Wisconsin; prior to that the warblers were only known to nest in northern Michigan. Foresters and wildlife biologists, including FWS Partners for Fish & Wildlife (PFW) and Ecological Services biologists, implemented Wisconsin’s first habitat project to benefit the warblers in 2013. Three hundred sixty acres were replanted to red and jack pines in different combinations. Herbaceous species native to pine barrens habitat were planted in almost 300 openings, half were 50’ and the other half were 100’ circumference, to attract insects which provide a necessary food resource for nesting females. Two years after the seeding, PFW biologist and FWS fire management staff cut down snags from a nearby seventy acre site. The pines in this area were not yet suitable for the warblers, but removing snags reduced the opportunity for brown-headed cowbirds to parasitize warbler nests.
Kirtland’s warblers were documented in the two project areas for the first time in June 2020. This is significant because the warblers nest only in large areas in which the pines are between five and twenty years old. Maintaining areas of young forest benefit Kirtland’s warblers.
Mark Pfost, Wisconsin Private Lands Biologist
Bear River valley wetlands in Wyoming. These private land meadows are irrigated by ranchers and used later in the season for livestock hay or grazing. The landowner, Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Ducks Unlimited, and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program teamed up last fall to repair the infrastructure that keeps these areas wet. The results this spring are incredible. Lots of water, wetland vegetation, and of course, ducks!
How many species do you see at this restored wetland? Just a few years ago it was an unproductive crop field. It's growing a new crop now thanks to the private landowner. Check the comment section later today and we'll list the species.
Ryan Askren Photography
Teal and their destination: A wetland restored on private property.
Thanks to Ryan Askren for his incredible photography skills and time spent capturing the magic of wetlands.
An earthworm emerges after a rain to check the conditions. Earthworms are a source of food for birds, especially the American woodcock. They also create pores throughout the soil that creates a spongy texture, allowing water to infiltrate the soil, leading to less runoff. There are other benefits. Ever been fishing? There are several species though and maybe not all are beneficial. After the initial post, Mr. Steve Hill provided some great insight into the "jumping worm" in the comment section below.
Restore wetlands! You can do it, we can help!
📷: Mallards rising into the air with the words "wetland restoration" written behind the ducks.
Job Opportunity! GS-7/9/11 Partners for Fish and Wildlife biologist, located in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Open to the public (also merit promotion):
Life today as told by white-tailed deer.
Video: One deer sneezes, the others run away.
Diesel powered conservation! Habitat restoration requires some heavy duty equipment and skilled operators in order to provide quality wildlife habitat and quality recreational opportunities. We work with private contractors in order to get the job done. Enjoy these clips of habitat conservation in action. Thank you private contractors and private landowners.
Video: dozers, skid-steers, and excavators moving dirt or cutting trees. USFWS
Meet the #WildlifeWomen of Partners for Fish and Wildlife!
Hats off to our friends at The Nature Conservancy who found a way to get trees in the ground at their Emiquon Preserve near Havana, Illinois during these challenging times. They had a very detailed safety plan that kept everyone safe while they restored a hardwood forest. On average, they planted 435 tree seedlings per acre.
The Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program assisted with this project by purchasing the tree seedlings. This project is important to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as it reduces forest fragmentation along a major migratory bird route (Illinois River) and it ties in with our National Wildlife Refuge system, with Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge only being 2.5 miles away.
Photos courtesy of Doug Blodgett of The Nature Conservancy.
Earth Day today!!!!!
Did you know the first Earth Day was in April 22, 1970. Happy 50th Anniversary Earth Day.
Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.
Thank you to our landowners and other conservation partners.
photo: 2 people standing along a barbwire fence. Photo caption reads "Happy Earth Day" and a quote from Aldo Leopold that reads "Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest".
Right now in 11 western states a battle to pass on ones genes 🧬 is happening. Sage Grouse are as old as the sagebrush sea itself. Every spring these birds come back to the same spot in an ancient ritual of courtship and prowess. Unfortunately, sage grouse have been declining for many years.
Sage grouse conservation means conservation for 350+ other sagebrush ecosystem species. If we lose the bird, it might be to late for a lot of other wildlife.
These photos were taken in Southern Utah in an area where Partners Program biologist are actively engaged in habitat work and partnerships.
📸: Sage grouse lek photos by Clint Wirick/USFWS
Great article by Clint Wirick, Private Lands Biologist in Utah, about his strategic conservation efforts and partnerships. The conservation efforts are not only strategic, but they're also utilizing science to make sure they're doing the right thing in the right place and at the right time. Thank you Clint and partners! Beautiful landscape! https://editions.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=656543&article_id=3647307&view=articleBrowser&ver=html5://www.facebook.com/PFWProgram/notifications/?section=activity_feed&subsection=mention&ref=notif&target_story=S%3A_I92853043210%3A10157976189893211
Wild turkeys have discovered refuge in southern Utah’s red rock desert landscape. Research to find out more is just beginning. Interest in turkey hunting h
Conserving the Oregon spotted frog, in Washington, with some incredible partnerships. We're fortunate to be a part of this project along with the Samish Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Samish DNR created this great story map to show you what they've been up to and what the partnership is achieving.
The collaborative effort between Samish Indian Nation and partners to restore Oregon Spotted Frog habitat in Washington State.
Jon Wessman was a Private Lands Biologist in Arkansas for 13 years and has had the great fortune of moving around the country and within the government. This video is a quick insight into his career and it provides some very important advice for all of us. Just when you think the job is about trees, birds and pollinators, you're slapped in the face with the sudden realization of what it is really about.
Video: A sit down interview with Jon Wessman. Some older photos of Jon are interspersed throughout the video.
"HELLO IN THERE.......HELLO" - John Prine
video: Procyon lotor in a tree cavity. Would say the common name, but don't want to wreck the surprise.
The world lost a very special person recently. Sally Zodrow, a former USFWS employee and friend to many in the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, will be dearly missed. Lori Stevenson, Ohio State Coordinator for the PFW Program says "I miss her infectious laugh and her smile, I miss her straightforward way of providing me with advice on what to do and what not to do, and which adventurous trip we should go on next! I miss Sally for being Sally. She and her chocolate lab, Meg, will forever be in my heart."
As we work to conserve our natural resources, we all come to find that it is the people that make it special and what we remember most. Thank you Sally for the smiles you brought this world.
Photos of Sally enjoying the outdoors courtesy of Lori Stevenson.
Check out our swanky wood duck boxes!
These unique boxes were designed by landowner Tom Cleveland who repurposed old water softener containers that would have otherwise been thrown away. Each box stands about three feet tall by 16" diameter and costs about $3 and less than an hour to make.
PFW has had great success installing duck boxes in partnership with landowners in Indiana, among other states. Last year, biologist Scott Fetters assisted landowners who had 19 successful boxes and helped to install another 5 this season. By building, installing and maintaining nest boxes, landowners can gain insight into the interesting aspects of wood duck nesting and reproduction, while helping to boost local populations.
To learn more about Wood Duck Boxes, see the Ducks Unlimited page here: https://bit.ly/2wEi79a
Fire is a natural process, a process which helps landscapes digest and cycle nutrients. People are also a part of this process now and PFW has been working with some of the greatest conservation minded people in Utah to put this watershed back on a path of renewal and regeneration.
On this week’s edition of NWTF-Utah Habitat Management Monday we are highlighting the Miller Creek Watershed Restoration Project. This area was heavily damaged by the Seeley Fire that burned over 48,000 acres in Emery County in 2012. This wildfire resulted in damage to the riparian corridor throughout the watershed which has had a negative impact on wildlife habitat and has continued to cause water quality issues.
This multi-phase project is improving in-stream, riparian and upland habitat to benefit multiple wildlife species including wild turkey, elk, mule deer, grouse, native fish, and many others.
Partners include Trout Unlimited, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NWTF, US Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, NRCS, ConcoPhillips, Safari Club International, SFW, MDF, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Utah Wild Sheep Foundation, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, and multiple private landowners.
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA
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