June 9, 2020
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to see the National Fish Habitat Partnership program assist in providing more than $35 million to support 95 fish habitat conservation projects in 31 states. This year these projects represent nearly an 8-to-1 match for federal funding with partnership project funding from other sources. Collaborative partnerships between the state fish and wildlife agencies, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nongovernmental organizations, and other partners are key to implementing these conservation priority projects.
“This partnership leverages funding to address some of the greatest fish habitat challenges of today,” stated Kelly Hepler, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “The Association is pleased to be one of many partners coordinating to conserve and address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges.”
“These collaborative projects, which bring a variety of partners to the table are beneficial in moving conservation forward in the U.S.,” said Ed Schriever, Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “The leveraging of resources through our partnerships is unique, and it proves we can collectively achieve more to benefit fish habitat.”
About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has supported 852 projects benefiting fish habitat in all 50 states. The partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide; leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects of 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships.
AFWA and the National Fish Habitat Partnership Program:
The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is an unprecedented attempt to address an unseen crisis for fish nationwide: loss and degradation of their watery homes. The plan was born in 2001 when an ad hoc group supported by the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council explored the notion of developing a partnership effort for fish on the scale of what was done for waterfowl in the 1980s through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The waterfowl plan has worked wonders during the past two decades to boost waterfowl populations by forming strong local and regional partnerships to protect key habitats. AFWA supports staffing for the National Fish Habitat Partnership and also plays a key role in the Executive Leadership Team of the Board. The National Fish Habitat Board is also comprised of members from states and regional AFWA Associations
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.