Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Michigan

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Michigan is a way for private landowners to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in a voluntary proactive manner. It’s about sharing resources of time, energy, and funds to help ensure that elements of our common heritage-- wildlife, fish and a healthy ecosystem-- will be there for our kids, and their kids.

Habitats of Special Concern
The Partners Program focuses on improving habitat for Federal trust resources: migratory birds, federally-listed endangered or threatened species, and inter-jurisdictional fish. In Michigan, while restoration of wetlands has been, and remains, the primary focus for the Partners Program, acreage of grassland restorations continues to increase each year. Increased emphasis is also being placed on stream restoration, both in the channel and within the riparian corridor. Specific habitats, such as barrens or fens, are also targeted when opportunities exist to improve habitat for federally-listed endangered or threatened species such as the karner blue butterfly. Projects in these habitat types often involve the removal of invasive plants, such as glossy buckthorn or spotted knapweed.

Conservation Strategies
Habitat Restoration - Restoration projects are developed to improve habitat quality for Federal trust resources in a biologically-sound, cost-effective manner. Because there are no rental or easement payments associated with Partners projects (we only cost-share on the restoration), Michigan landowners tend to participate because they are interested primarily in improving wildlife habitat.

Wetland restorations are focused in southern Michigan where previous agricultural drainage provides abundant opportunities to restore hydrology to formerly drained wetlands. Projects often involve breaking tile lines, filling in ditches, or building low berms. While costs vary considerably depending on the size or complexity of a project, on-theground restoration costs are approximately $750 to $1,000 per acre.

Grasslands provide a buffer around wetland areas and nesting cover for some waterfowl and a number of declining grassland birds such as bobolinks. The Partners Program is working with others in Michigan’s agricultural counties to promote establishment of mixed stands of warm-season grasses and forbs. Depending on the site preparation required and seed mix used, costs range from $150 to $750 per acre.

Efforts are underway to restore streambanks and improve road crossings in northern Michigan watersheds to improve habitat for inter-jurisdictional fish. Bank stabilization efforts, using bio-logs and other techniques, have cost approximately $30 to150 per linear foot treated. The cost of each road crossing varies depending on the size and flow of the stream. To date, individual crossing projects have cost $35,000 to $450,000.  Projects reduce sediment load into the stream, thus improving both habitat and water quality as well as fish passage. Partnerships are also forming to remove dams, when and where appropriate. Partners projects are expanding to include removal of invasive plant species from sensitive habitats supporting endangered or threatened species. These projects are much more labor intensive because of the sensitive nature of the habitat. Two of the invasive species targeted for removal are baby’s breath on coastal dunes and spotted knapweed in barrens. These efforts will benefit pitcher’s thistle and karner blue butterflies, respectively.

Technical Assistance
The Partners Program continues to provide biological expertise to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in implementing its conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program. These incentive-based programs generally reach a different group of landowners than those who participate in the Partners Program.

Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Michigan

Jim Hudgins
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2651 Coolidge Road
Suite 101
East Lansing, Michigan  48823
Phone: 517-351-4230
Fax: 517-351-5419


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Michigan

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator