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June 15, 2009
In Reply Refer To
1120 (230) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-141
To:                  All State Directors
 From:              Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:          Guidance on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fisheries Program and the National Fish Habitat Action Plan
Program Area: Fisheries (1120)
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum provides guidance to BLM managers and staff about the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) and how our collective commitment to this nationwide fisheries partnership initiative will help us to prioritize and facilitate management of fisheries and riparian resources on BLM lands.
Policy/Action: Once staff has reviewed the information relevant to partnerships operating in your areas, please take the following actions to ensure that our on-the-ground actions comport with the NFHAP:
  1. Contact the National Fisheries Program Leader to ensure the appropriate partnership is targeted.
  2. Contact the partnership coordinator, and define the BLM role.
  3. Review BLM Resource Management Plans and State Wildlife Comprehensive Management Plans to identify priority species and habitats that will be a focus of the partnership efforts.
  4. Review existing and proposed actions that potentially affect priority species and habitats of the NFHAP partnerships to ensure that species and habitat needs are addressed.
  5. Review restoration actions to ensure partnership objectives are addressed and met.
  6. Direct fisheries funding to those priority actions, and track them using the following partnership project codes. Because a variety of funds may be used to support these partnerships, these project codes are not tied to any one specific funding activity or subactivity. 
            NFHAP Partnership                                                                                     Project Code
  • Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI)                                                          NFWN
  • Desert Fish Habitat Partnership (DFHP)                                                         NFDF
  • North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership (NASSP)                              NFNS
  • Matanuska Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership (Mat-Su SHP)            NFMS
  • Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership (SWASHP)                            NFSA
  • Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP)                                            NFRH 
      7.      At your annual coordination meetings with State Game and Fish agencies, highlight these accomplishments.
I recognize that some States do not currently have adequate fisheries staff and that our commitment to the NFHAP may add to the workload of existing non-fisheries staff. In these instances, I strongly recommend that through these partnerships, you explore the opportunity to utilize State agency personnel, either through formal Interagency Personnel Actions (IPAs) or through direct funding of those individuals using our current grants and agreements or contracting procedures, until such time you can procure these scarce skills within your organizations. This is a phenomenal opportunity to work with partners to meet our resource management objectives and retain our credibility as a leader in fisheries habitat conservation. Failure to act now will seriously undermine the Bureau’s credibility with our partners and may work to the detriment of our other authorized programs.
Timeframe: Effective May 4, 2009.
Budget Impact: Minimal.
Background: TheNFHAP is a national, cooperative conservation plan established in 2006, by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), in response to a recommendation received by the Secretary of the Interior from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC), an organization chartered to advise the Secretary on fisheries and recreation matters. The SFBPC recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA-Fisheries coordinate with other Federal agencies in the development and implementation of an action plan that would use regional and species-focused partnerships to restore and protect habitat, and would be used by cooperating agencies as the primary vehicle under which aquatic-related cooperative conservation projects will be prioritized and funded. Fisheries interest groups, in their communication with the Administration, have made it clear that they consider the NFHAP a priority.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: None 
Contact: Tom Mendenhall, Sr. Fish Program Lead, 202-452-7770
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                      Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                       Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

Last updated: 10-20-2009