LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Landowners interested in restoring wildlife habitat now have an advocate. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' Partners Program in Arkansas is currently looking for landowners in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Ouachita/Saline River watershed and the Red River Valley.
Priority habitat types include bottomland hardwood forests, other wetland types and Blackland prairie, according to USFWS Private Lands Biologist, Michael Budd. "However, all habitat types that improve conditions for wildlife will be considered," Budd added.
Recently starting his career with the USFWS in mid-April, Budd has years of experience working with private landowners to manage their property for wildlife, while still retaining agricultural goals and objectives. "I've provided technical assistance on thousands of acres during the course of my career and I am uniquely situated to provide Arkansas landowners with the information they need to move forward with managing wildlife on their property," Budd says.
For more information regarding the Partners Program, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/es/partners/.
According to David Long, private lands coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the FWS' Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program fills a unique niche that can assist landowners who otherwise do not qualify for other programs. "In addition, when landowners host a field visit with a private lands biologist whether it's Mike with FWS or with AGFC, these biologists can assess the property for other programs the landowner is also eligible," Long explained.
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program offers assistance statewide to landowners seeking to improve habitat for migratory birds and other federal and state species of concern, Joe Krystofik says. Krystofik is the acting Partners for Fish and Wildlife Coordinator out of the Fish and Wildlife Service office in Conway.
Interested landowners are encouraged to contact Mike Budd, Private Lands Biologist, at email@example.com or at 870-473-2869. Landowners may also contact AGFC private lands biologists at the nearest regional office: Beaver Lake, 866-253-2508; Jonesboro, 877-972-5438; Brinkley, 877-734-4581; Fort Smith, 877-478-1043; Monticello, 877-367-3559; Mayflower, 877-470-3650; Calico Rock, 877-297-4331; Camden, 877-836-4512; and Hope, 877-777-5580.