U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

US Fish and Wildlife Logo

About Us

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Within FWS is the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) that is tasked with administering a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the US.

Deer at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR. 

In 2012 FWS announced the launch of a new branch, Human Dimensions (HD). From providing opportunities for recreation and education, to restoring vital habitats for fish, wildlife and plants, the public plays a vital role in our decision making process. The Human Dimensions Branch examines the complex relationships between people and the wildlife and habitats the Refuge System protects. This enables decision-makers to consider social systems in conservation planning, design, and implementation. Both biological and social sciences should inform landscape-scale management of wildlife and their habitats.  

The HD branch is housed within the Natural Resource Program Center (NRPC) in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a central location for resources to inform landscape-level conservation delivery, NRPC is the ideal home for HD. All activities at NRPC must be informed by sound science. Until recently, this has meant biological and physical science. It is clear now that we must also take social sciences into consideration in order for our decisions and management actions to be comprehensively informed.

Be sure to stop by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Team Page to see the latest blog posts, news, and upcoming training and events. Please visit the HD Branch site for more information about the Branch and its role within FWS.

Mission

Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Related Content

This comprehensive toolkit is a resource for practitioners to engage audiences using tried-and-tested steps, strategies and tools.
Avitourism is one of the faster growing subsectors of ecotourism, recognized for its economic value. Much of our current understanding of the economic value of avitourism revolves around bird festivals, migration events, or well-known birdwatching sites.
Governance and institutions are critical determinants of adaptive capacity and resilience. Yet the make-up and relationships between governance components and mechanisms that may or may not contribute to adaptive capacity remain relatively unexplored empirically. This paper builds on previous research focusing on integrated water resources management in Brazil to ‘unpack’ water governance mechanisms that may shape the adaptive capacity of water systems to climatic change.
The researchers assessed black bear harvest trends that involve bait. The study took place from 1992 to 2010 in Alaska and examined increases in the use of this harvesting method in three different spatial areas and in comparison with changes in use of other harvesting methods. The study is used to address the ethics of harvesting black bears using bait, and not incorrectly characterize the issue as addressing black bear conservation or population management.
This is a user-friendly guide for managers and specialists working in conservation planning in Alaska designed to improve participation for Alaska Natives.
The framework provides a flexible process for managing visitor use on federally managed lands and waters
Managers continue to be challenged with uncertainty about the balance as it relates to the individual agency's mandates for protecting the natural and cultural resources which is amplified by inconsistent terminology and divergent management approaches. This position paper is a collaboration among agencies to define visitor use management and visitor capacity, clarify the relationships between these two concepts, and provide a framework for federal land managers using these concepts to meet agency goals.
Population growth and a changing climate will tax the future reliability of the Colorado River water supply. Using a heuristic model, we assess the annual risk to the Colorado River water supply for years 2008–2057.
These toolboxes are a compilation of resources on current issues in wilderness management.
This is a series of reports to determine wildlife value orientations among publics in the western United States and to identify factors influencing the presence of these orientations.