The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
History and Statutory Authority
A 1940 reorganization plan (54 Stat. 1232) in the Department of the Interior consolidated the Bureau of Fisheries and the Bureau of Biological Survey into one agency to be known as the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife was created as a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior on November 6, 1956, by the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (70 Stat. 1119). That act was amended on July 1, 1974, by Public Law 93-271 (88 Stat. 92) to, among other purposes, abolish the position of Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife and designate the Bureau as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Assist in the development and application of an environmental stewardship ethic for our society, based on ecological principles, scientific knowledge of fish and wildlife, and a sense of moral responsibility.
- Guide the conservation, development, and management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources.
- Administer a national program to provide the public opportunities to understand, appreciate, and wisely use fish and wildlife resources.
Functions. Here are a few of the ways we try to meet our mission:
- Enforce federal wildlife laws,
- Protect endangered species,
- Manage migratory birds,
- Restore nationally significant fisheries,
- Conserve and restore wildlife habitat such as wetlands,
- Help foreign governments with their international conservation efforts, and
- Distribute hundreds of millions of dollars, through our Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration program, in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.