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Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants

Public Participation

Work in the Field - Partnerships for Habitat Improvement

Why Challenge Cost-Share (CCS)?

In 2000, a variety of State agencies and private organizations worked with the Forest Service to leverage $16.7 million of appropriated funds into $41.2 million of habitat improvement projects benefiting wildlife, fish, rare plants, and people. This unique Challenge Cost-Share (CCS) Program is an outstanding example of how a large bureaucracy can work with local, dedicated people to stretch limited budgets to provide long-term environmental benefits for future generations.

Congressional funding of Forest Service Challenge Cost-Share projects is contingent upon matching contributions from conservation groups, private enterprises, individuals, or other public agencies.

The Challenge Cost-Share Program encourages direct public involvement in managing wildlife and fish habitats on national forests and grasslands. Established in 1986, the program has grown from 57 partners and 120 projects to nearly 2,200 partners and over 1,800 projects in 2000. Partnerships can involve sharing technical skills or matching moneys, labor, and equipment. The end result, however, is on-the-ground resource improvements to benefit wildlife, fish, rare plants, and people.

Click on the thumbnail images to see results.

CCS Partner Contributions

CCS Forest Service Contributions

Partners & FS Contributions

CCS Partner Contributions
CCS Forest Service Contributions
Partners & FS Contributions

Numbers of Projects

Numbers of Partners

Numbers of Partnership Dollars

CCS Numbers of Projects
CCS Numbers of Partners
Numbers of Partnership Dollars

Who Are Our Partners?

photo boys scouts The Forest Service has active partnerships with thousands of people from hundreds of organizations and agencies—from Audubon clubs to Zuni Indians, from Boy Scouts and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Partners also include government agencies at all levels, schools, and just plain individuals who want to help. Many are well-known agencies and organizations whose contributions make highly significant technical and program impacts. Many are the “wet and dirty” field workers doing the routine jobs, without whom little would actually get done. Listing of Partners.

Partnership Program Areas

Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFW) Partnerships are administered through the following special programs:

  • Get Wild, a national program that delivers sound habitat management for terrestrial wildlife while meeting public demands for hunting, viewing, and other recreational uses.
  • Every Species Counts, a national effort aimed at conserving our biological legacy by recovering federally listed threatened and endangered species, as well as agency-designated sensitive species.
  • Rise to the Future, a national program that emphasizes improving fisheries and aquatic habitat and recreational fishing.
  • NatureWatch, a national program that features interpretive walks, festivals, and educational materials for the appreciation and enjoyment of plants (Celebrating Wildflowers), wildlife (Eyes on Wildlife), and fish (FishWatch).

Get Wild

photo of man and hawkGet Wild is the Forest Service’s terrestrial wildlife program, serving as an umbrella for almost a dozen emphasis areas plus locally important species and communities. Successful implementation of this program involves coordination with State and other Federal agencies, as well as wildlife interest groups, to inventory and improve habitats, survey and monitor wildlife populations, provide education and interpretive programs for forest users, and protect special habitats such as snags and riparian areas. In 2000, Get Wild partners assisted in the completion of 595 partnership projects.

Get Wild is made up of the following emphasis areas:

  • Eyes on Wildlife (wildlife viewing and appreciation)
  • Partners in Flight (neotropical migratory bird conservation).
  • Taking Wing (wetland wildlife).
  • Making Tracks (wild turkey habitat management).
  • Answer the Call (quail habitat management).
  • Full Curl (wild sheep habitat management).
  • A Million Bucks (deer habitat management).
  • Dancers in the Forest (grouse and woodcock habitat management).
  • Animal Inn (an information and education program focusing on the value of dead, dying, and hollow trees for wildlife)
  • Cavity Dependent Species (wildlife dependent on dead and downed trees).
  • Elk Country (elk habitat management).
  • Local emphasis species (e.g., key ecological indicator species that are monitored to measure ecosystem health).

Every Species Counts

photo of grouseAlthough care for threatened, endangered, and sensitive species is emphasized in all Forest Service programs, it is within the Every Species Counts program that rare species are profiled. National forest and grasslands provide homes to 415 species federally listed as threatened or endangered. In addition, there are more than 2,900 sensitive species—those for which special management is required so they do not become threatened or endangered.

photo of marmot Initiated in 1990, the Every Species Counts program brings together the resources and commitment of numerous Federal and State agencies, private organizations, and individuals to enhance species recovery and conservation. Successful implementation of the program involves conducting inventories and surveys to determine species occurrences, distribution, and plant status; developing management guides for listed species; participating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the restoration and enhancement of both aquatic and terrestrial habitats; preparing and implementing recovery plans; and restoring and improving habitats. The rare plants program identifies, protects, and monitors habitats critical to the conservation of rare species. In 2000, 422 partnership projects were competed for threatened, endangered, or rare species.

Rise to the Future

Rise to the Future, the fisheries program, coordinates aquatic habitat management goals, plans, and programs with State, Federal, and tribal agencies and fish interest groups. Currently, Rise to the Future management activities focus on inland game fish, such as walleye, trout, and bass; nongame fish (for example, various darters, shiners, and chubs); mussels; aquatic species; and anadromous fish (for example, salmon, steelhead, and searun cutthroat trout).

Through Rise to the Future, the Forest Service has developed strong partnerships with major fisheries conservation groups, government agencies, researchers, and the angling public to protect, restore, and enhance aquatic habitats. Partnerships also support monitoring of river, stream, and lake habitats and help provide interpretive (e.g., FishWatch), educational, and recreational opportunities for forest visitors. In 2000, partners assisted the Forest Service in completing 485 Rise to the Future projects.


NatureWatch encourages and supports educational, informational, and interpretive programs for users, visitors, and people interested in the national forests. It is composed of the following three emphasis areas:

Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice

Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFW)
Washington, D.C. Office
Author: Shelly Witt, National Continuing Education Coordinator, WFW staff
Phone: 435-881-4203
Expires: none

Photo Credits

USDA Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090
(202) 205-8333