U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation|
The BLM’s Fisheries Program depends on a multitude of conservation partnerships, from the grass-roots to the national level. The BLM routinely engages recreational users, private groups, local communities, government agencies, and other people interested in fisheries to join in the process of aquatic habitat conservation. BLM fisheries partnerships include the following:
BLM is a partner in the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and a member of its Federal Caucus. The NFHAP is an umbrella cooperative conservation effort to focus resources on fish habitat nationwide. Partnerships are self-organized around geographic areas, keystone species, or system types. The BLM is an active participant in the following recognized (and one candidate*) National Fish Habitat Action Plan Partnerships:
These collaborative projects benefit a diversity of aquatic resources on BLM administered lands, including many at-risk species such as the Colorado, Bonneville and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Pacific salmon and steelhead trout.
Trout Unlimited (TU) is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to sustaining fishable populations of a variety of fishes, with an emphasis on wild trout and salmon.
The BLM’s active Assistance Agreement with TU serves to formalize communications among BLM field offices, TU chapters, other interest groups, Tribes and other Federal, state, and local government agencies as they work together to protect, enhance, or restore aquatic habitat on public lands. TU’s fundraising efforts provide dollars to match appropriated funds for on-the-ground work at a minimum ratio of 1:1. TU also seeks to involve individuals from local communities in responsible stewardship of biotic resources on public lands and is instrumental in facilitating cooperative solutions to land management issues while protecting local economies.
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is one of the most active and respected aquatic professional organizations in North America. AFS’s more than 10,000 members are primarily aquatic science professionals most frequently employed by a state, provincial, or federal fishery conservation agency, or a university. AFS is organized into four geographic Divisions with fifty-four geographically distinct Chapters within the four Divisions. The BLM has an active Assistance Agreement with the National AFS which allows the BLM Fisheries Program to actively participate with the National AFS and Western Division AFS yearly meetings. Highlights of the agreement include fostering stewardship of fisheries and general aquatic resources on public lands, sharing data and other information related to fisheries resources on public lands, and producing and distributing materials to promote such stewardship.
The National Aquatic Monitoring Center (aka “the Bug Lab”) is a cooperative venture between Utah State University and the BLM whose purpose is to encourage and foster scientifically sound watershed monitoring programs on public lands. The Center’s goals are to increase the consistency and quality of aquatic resource assessments and provide clear, accurate, and timely information to resource managers and the public. A primary focus at the laboratory is the processing of aquatic invertebrate samples.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists are assisting BLM in interpreting and using data collected from public land waterways and sent to the National Aquatic Monitoring Center at Utah State University. There, aquatic invertebrate collections are analyzed and the information is used at the BLM field office level. The USGS is helping managers apply this knowledge to larger ecoregional scales to make inferences about water quality and restoration priorities.
The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species. It consists of 15 Federal agency representatives and 12 ex-officio members, and is co-chaired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Task force coordinates governmental efforts with those of the private sector and other North American interests via regional panels and issue-specific committees and work groups. BLM is an active member of the Western Regional Panel of the task force.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is a non-profit organization that preserves and restores native wildlife species and habitats. Created by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private funds. The Foundation works with individuals, foundations, government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations to identify and fund the nation’s most intractable conservation challenges. The BLM Fisheries Program works with a number of the Foundation's programs, including Bring Back the Natives and the Freshwater Fish Conservation Initiative, to support fish restoration on public lands.
There are literally hundreds of partnership projects on public lands that benefit fisheries. The success stories highlighted on these web pages are only a few of the many examples where federal resources have been maximized with the help of federal, state and local partners who have worked together to improve streams and fish habitat on both public and private lands throughout the nation.