United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency of the United States Federal Government within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."[citation needed]

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Seal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Flag of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Agency overview
Preceding agency
  • Bureau of Fisheries
JurisdictionUnited States Federal Government
HeadquartersBailey's Crossroads, Virginia, United States[Note 1]
38.845663°N 77.120087°W / 38.845663; -77.120087
EmployeesApprox. 8,000[1]
Annual budget$1.584 billion (FY2021)[2]
Agency executives
  • Martha Williams (acting), Director[3]
  • Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director[3]
Arctic Refuge Law Enforcement Officer Heather Bartlett stands alongside her Piper PA-18 Super Cub in 2009
USFWS personnel in uniform.

Among the responsibilities of the USFWS are enforcing federal wildlife laws; protecting endangered species; managing migratory birds; restoring nationally significant fisheries; conserving and restoring wildlife habitat, such as wetlands; helping foreign governments in international conservation efforts; and distributing money to fish and wildlife agencies of U.S. states through the Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program.[10] The vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on state or private land not controlled by the United States Government. Therefore, the USFWS works closely with private groups such as Partners in Flight and the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to promote voluntary habitat conservation and restoration.

The Agency's directorship currently is vacant after Aurelia Skipwith, the agency's former director, left her post on January 19, 2021.[11][12][13] President Joe Biden has appointed Martha Williams, former director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, to be the Principal Deputy Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.[14]

The USFWS employs approximately 8,000 people[1] and is organized into a central administrative office in Falls Church, Virginia, eight regional offices, and nearly 700 field offices distributed throughout the United States.