The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.
We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management
of these important natural resources for the American public.
FWS origins date back to 1871 when Congress established the U. S. Fish Commission to study the decrease in the nation’s food fishes and recommend ways to reverse that decline.
Today, we are a diverse and largely decentralized organization, employing about 8,000 dedicated professionals working out of facilities across the country, including a headquarters office in Falls Church, Virginia, and eight regional offices.
The National Non-Infrastructure Partnerships initiative encourages National Wildlife Refuge System field stations to partner with local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations, other land management groups, state and tribal partners, and others to accomplish projects that:
promote the stewardship of resources of the refuge through habitat maintenance, restoration, and improvement, biological monitoring, or research; increase awareness and understanding of the refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System through the development, publication, or distribution of educational materials and products; advance education concerning the purposes of the refuge and the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System through the use of the refuge as an outdoor classroom to combine educational curricula with the personal experiences of students relating to fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitat and to the cultural and historical resources of the refuges and development of other educational programs; promote the understanding of, education relating to, and the conservation of the fish, wildlife, plants, and cultural and historical resources; improve scientific literacy.
The goals of the initiative are to enable local communities to play a more active role in increasing outdoor recreation opportunities on refuge lands and waters, and to enhance wildlife habitat.
Additionally, this initiative can help address multiple FWS priorities as a catalyst for:
Economic and Conservation Enhancement Career Training and Mentoring Opportunities for Youth and Adults Equity and Inclusion in Conservation and Recreation Climate and Wildlife Resilience Community Health Successful projects will be related to identified FWS priorities or projects at national wildlife refuges that enhance the visitor experience, promote wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation, provide sustainable wildlife habitat, provide career training and mentoring opportunities, and engage the community in special events and other opportunities to participate in wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation on FWS lands and waters.