Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Ohio

Over 90% of Ohio’s remaining wildlife habitat occurs on private lands. Likewise, migratory birds and other resident bird, mammal, and insect species depend on private land during their breeding, nesting, and brood-rearing seasons. Improving and managing your land for wildlife will make a difference in the sustainability of Ohio’s natural resources.

Ohio’s historic landscape was a unique wilderness comprised of hardwood forests, vast wetlands, fens, bogs, prairie grasslands, oak savannas, clear springs, creeks, and streams.  This diverse landscape provided the resources European settlers depended on as the expansion west continued in the early 1800’s. Today, few pre-European settlement wetlands, prairies, and mature forests survive in Ohio. Less than a 1% of the prairies exist. Only an estimated 480,000 acres of wetlands remain for migratory waterfowl.  Ohio’s once vast forests are threatened daily by invasive species, disease, and continued fragmentation. This degradation of natural ecosystems has also contributed to poor water quality in some of Ohio’s streams. Likewise, the wildlife that depends on these unique ecosystems has declined proportionately. Migratory birds like the Cerulean warbler, Henslow’s sparrow and blue-wing teal need healthy forests, diverse grasslands, and productive wetlands to sustain their life cycle.

Land stewardship begins with you, the private landowner. By promoting wildlife habitat you contribute to species survival, soil and water conservation, and you can begin to build a land ethic for future generations to emulate and respect. 

Habitat Restoration Activities
Wetlands recharge groundwater, provide flood
control, filter runoff, and are diverse and dynamic ecosystems that waterfowl, shorebirds, amphibians and other wildlife depend on. Restore a wetland and begin watching this ecosystem develop on your land.

Prairie Grasslands
Native grasslands provide
excellent cover in the spring for grassland dependent nesting birds like bobolinks, meadowlarks, and field sparrows. The also serve as nesting, brood-rearing, and winter cover for resident wildlife species. Promoting grassland habitat on your land can make for a well-balanced conservation area.

Streams and Woodlands
Streams and Woodlands are unique habitats the
Partners program can assist you in restoring.  Healthy woodlands support migratory birds like scarlet tanagers, Eastern flycatchers, and Cerulean warblers. Healthy streams are important for human benefits as well as fish, mussels and aquatic insects.

Oak Savanna
Characteristics of oak
savanna are open grown oaks with prairie grasses and flowers as the ground layer.  Removing invasive tree and shrub species is the first step in restoring oak savanna. Savanna birds include blue birds, red-headed woodpeckers, and Eastern wild turkey

How do I get Started?
A FWS private lands biologist will have a one-on-one meeting with you to discuss your goals for your land and see if the project lends itself to the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program criteria and objectives. We can help you with habitat assessments, discuss wildlife improvements and benefits, and increase your stewardship knowledge of your land.

What happens Next?
If your land is eligible, a wildlife management agreement will be developed to enroll you in the Partners program. This ten-year agreement allows the private lands biologist to continue providing technical assistance for you and spells-out financial support that will be offered for wildlife improvements on your property. 

A wildlife management plan will be included. This plan will explain the: who, what, where, when, and how management activities may be implemented on your property. Restoration techniques and methods will be addressed in the management plan.

Since 1989, the Partners Program has restored approximately

  • 2,300 acres of wetland
  • 1,300 acres of grassland
  • 2 miles of stream banks and riparian corridors

Additional Contact Information
Ottawa NWR
14000 W. State Route 2
Oak Harbor, OH 43449
(419) 898-0014

Ohio Private Lands Office
771 East Main Street,
Suite 102
Newark, OH 43055
(740) 670-5312

Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Ohio

Kraig McPeek
Ohio Private Lands Coordinator
771 East Main Street
Suite 102
Newark, Ohio  43055
Phone: (740) 670-5312
Fax: (740) 349-8573


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator