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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
15.631 Partners for Fish and Wildlife

FEDERAL AGENCY:

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

AUTHORIZATION:

Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 742a-754; and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958, 16 U.S.C. 661-667(e).
OBJECTIVES: Click here for help!
Provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Native American Tribes interested in voluntarily restoring or otherwise improving native habitats for fish and wildlife on their lands.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Direct Payments for Specified Use.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Assistance provided to private landowners and Native American Tribes. Program goal is to achieve a 50 percent cost share on projects with matching funds and in-kind contributions provided by the landowners and other partners.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   Private landowners and Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments are eligible for financial and technical assistance from the Partners Program.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments and General Public.

Credentials/Documentation:   None.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   Private landowner contacts the local Partners Program coordinator who makes a site visit and works with the landowner to design a project that will benefit Federal trust resources and is acceptable for the landowner's needs. Environmental Impact Statements are typically not required.

Award Procedure:   After a project has been designed and the cost calculated, the local Partner Program coordinator will be able to inform the private landowner whether or not the Service will provide cost-share assistance. When the landowner has signed a cooperative agreement (a minimum of 10 years) work can begin on the project. The Service reimburses the landowner after the project is completed and confirmed correct.

Deadlines:   None.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   Not applicable.

Appeals:   Not applicable.

Renewals:   Not applicable. Private landowners may request additional projects on their lands.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   This program has no statutory formula. The Program goal is to obtain a 50 percent match of Federal monies by partnering with landowners, local community groups and other local and national conservation organizations.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   Cost-share is a one time event that occurs after project construction.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   Detailed biological reports are prepared on a percentage of projects funded. All projects are monitored for accurate construction.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records:   Accomplishments are recorded for each project in the Habitat Information Tracking System (HabITS). HabITS tracks habitat improvement accomplishments and program-specific technical assistance workloads associated with the Coastal Program and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:   14-1611-0-1-303.

Obligations:   (Direct payments) FY 01 $23,600,000; FY 02 est $24,300,000; and FY 03 est $23,400,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:   Cost-share range per project is from $200 to $25,000. The average cost per project is $5,400.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
In fiscal year 2001, the Partners Program helped restore or enhance 49,000 acres of wetlands, 335,000 acres of native grasslands, 990 miles of riparian corridors, stream banks and in- stream habitats, assisted with the removal of 100 fish passage barriers, and completed over 3,000 landowner agreements to restore fish and wildlife habitat on private lands.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Annual Performance Plan, Annual Performance Reports, and GPRA Accomplishment Report.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:  
See Regional Agency Offices. See Regional Agency Offices. Visit http://www.fws.gov/partners for contact information.

Headquarters Office:  
John Schmerfeld Branch of Habitat Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: NWRS , Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803 Phone: (703) 358-2332

Web Site Address:  
http://www.fws.gov/partners

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Typical wetland restoration and enhancement techniques involve restoring the natural hydrology of a site through the blocking of surface ditches, breaking sub-surface drain tiles, building shallow berms to trap water, filling in concentration pits, removing eroded sediment which fills in basins, installing grass buffers, or installing fences along wetlands or stream corridors that prevent cattle grazing within the stream or wetland. Other wetland enhancement activities include working with the landowners to better manage the wetland through the use of grazing, haying, discing, and burning. Upland restoration and enhancement and riparian areas are restored and enhanced through re-seeding or planting native grass, forbs, woody shrubs and trees. The installation of cross fencing along with providing alternative sources of water, assist landowners develop grassland/grazing management plans that have greater benefits for wildlife. Removing barriers to fish migration and using natural channel design techniques is the main focus of the Partners Program in-stream restoration work. Riparian fencing and improved grazing systems compliments stream restoration work.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Projects must benefit Federal trust species, involve on-the-ground habitat restoration, and be cost- effective.

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