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You are here: Home Cooperative Our Plan Section 3. Management Capacity Within the Appalachian Community Fish and Wildlife Service - Department of Interior

Fish and Wildlife Service - Department of Interior

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  FWS has over 30 field stations located within the Appalachian LCC, including National Wildlife Refuges, National Fish Hatcheries, Migratory Birds stations, and Ecological Services field offices that each carry responsibility for providing management capacity.  Field station biologists are often species and/or habitat-type experts charged with enhancing, restoring, protecting, regulating and monitoring populations and habitats for Federal trust species:  migratory birds, interjurisdictional fishes, and federally listed endangered or threatened species.  To maximize the effectiveness of the agency programs charged with conservation outcomes, coordinated access to data and research results at larger scales will become increasingly important for strategic planning.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is charged with stewardship of the National Wildlife Refuge System (  Refuges are already experiencing direct and indirect effects from climate change, in addition to historic threats to natural resource and recreational missions.  In particular, water shortages and wildfires have been a major concern in recent years, especially in the SE U.S.  National Refuges will serve as hubs of suitable habitat for many native species, and linking these existing hubs by creating corridors of protected habitats will facilitate movement of species in response to climate change advances.

The Refuge System needs the finest science to manage its lands and waters efficiently to support wildlife conservation.  Monitoring is a vital part of that.  Today, wildlife refuges face issues that originate beyond their boundaries.  The Inventory and Monitoring Program gathers, synthesizes and shares standardized data so wildlife and habitats are protected.  This initiative provides critical information to local refuges as well as regional and national wildlife professionals.


Priority Projects within USFWS I&M PROGRAM (

· Abiotic Resources – Baseline Geospatial Data, Hydrogeomorphic Analysis (HGM)

· Biotic Resources – T&E Species, Refuge Vulnerability Assessments (RVA), Phenology


The agency’s National Fish Hatchery System ( supports federal and state fish management goals of population augmentation in the wild by captive rearing of game, non-game, and endangered or threatened aquatic species.  In recent years, the program has had great success in the captive rearing of rare freshwater mussel species.  The Fisheries Division also has Offices of Fishery Assistance, tasked with coordinating fisheries population assessments, habitat restoration (especially dam removal/fish passage), and fisheries planning and partnership activities.

The Migratory Bird Division ( is charged with tracking migratory bird population trends, establishing harvest frameworks for game species, and working with partners to develop large-scale planning documents that guide avian conservation activities throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America on breeding and wintering grounds as well as critical migration stopover areas.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife ( and Coastal Programs ( both restore and protect habitats on private lands under voluntary agreements using a network of conservation and non-traditional partners.

Both the regulatory and recovery responsibilities for species listed under the Endangered Species Act are centered at Ecological Services ( field offices.

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