Working Lands for Wildlife

Working Lands for Wildlife is a partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to use agency technical expertise and financial assistance to combat the decline of seven specific wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs. Nearly two thirds of all species federally listed as threatened or endangered exist on private lands.  Conservation efforts on these lands generate outdoor recreation and economic activity that result in sustained growth for local communities and landowners.

WLFW is currently active in 48 states. Eight national and 14 state-identified initiatives are used to focus individual projects that meet both the needs of the species as well as those of the agricultural operations. Individual species are used as barometers for healthy, functioning landscapes where conservation efforts also benefit a multitude of additional species as well.

Through Working Lands for Wildlife landowners can voluntarily participate in an incentive-based efforts to:

  • Restore populations of declining wildlife species.
  • Provide farmers, ranchers, and forest managers with regulatory certainty that conservation investments they make today help sustain their operations over the long term.
  • Strengthen and sustain rural economies by restoring and protecting the productive capacity of working lands

Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS office. An NRCS planner will determine if habitat on the property is suitable, can be improved, or created to benefit the species. If so, the NRCS planner and the landowner will jointly develop a conservation plan, which will recommend a combination of practices and associated conservation measures that the landowner will apply to create or improve the habitat for the species.

Watch a video on how this program works for landowners.

Contact Working Lands for Wildlife

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of LandCAN.
Working Lands for Wildlife is not employed by or affiliated with the Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.

Contact Working Lands for Wildlife

Tim Griffiths
10 East Babcock Street
Federal Building, Room 443
Bozeman, Montana  59715
Phone: (406) 587-6812
Cell Phone: (406) 600-3908


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

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3 Introductory articles were found for Working Lands for Wildlife

Frameworks for Conservation Action Sagebrush and Great Plains


Learn about the USDA-NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife's approach to conservation in the sagebrush-steppe and Great Plains Grasslands in this public presentation. The presentation details the Frameworks for Conservation Action in the Sagebrush and Great Plains Biomes - collaboratively developed approaches to conservation in these landscapes. These frameworks will guide WLFW's approach to conservation in these landscapes for the next five years.


The elevational ascent and spread of exotic annual grass dominance in the Great Basin, USA


Sweeping sagebrush and salt desert shrublands typify the Great Basin - a 200,000-square-mile landscape that encompasses much of Nevada and parts of Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and California. Across this broad geography - a mix of privately owned ranches interspersed with public lands - invasive annual grasses are displacing native perennial vegetation. New research supported by Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) quantifies the spread of this threat.

Displacing native plants with annual grasses like cheatgrass, medusahead, and ventanata, reduces forage productivity and carbon storage, degrades wildlife habitat, and increases the threat of wildfires. Understanding the extent and spread of these annual invasive grasses is key to crafting a landscape-scale approach for maintaining these productive and resilient rangelands.

Lead author Joe Smith, a WLFW-affiliated researcher at the University of Montana, used recently developed remote sensing-based rangeland monitoring data from the Rangeland Analysis Platform (RAP) to produce yearly maps of annual grass-dominated vegetation communities from 1990-2020. With these images, Smith and his team quantified the rate of spread of annual grasses and characterized changes in the distribution (elevation and aspect) of those transitioning areas.

Supported by and co-produced with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Burns, OR, the team documented a more than eight-fold increase in annual grass-dominated areas since 1990. In 2020, annual invasive grasses dominated approximately one-fifth of the Great Basin. Smith also determined annual grasses were spreading to higher elevations and to slopes that faced a generally northern direction.

Through the Framework for Conservation Action in the Sagebrush Biome, WLFW works to defend relatively uninvaded sagebrush cores from annual grass conversion and expand them through restoration to maintain productive working lands that are resilient to fire and resistant to invasive annuals.

WLFW’s approach for tackling this threat relies on statewide maps identifying large, intact core areas with relatively low, or no, annual grass invasion. Core areas serve as anchor points for conservation action and inform a proactive strategy for management: Defend the Core, Grow the Core, Mitigate Impacts.

Smith’s research reiterates the urgency to implement preventative measures for intact, yet vulnerable, landscapes as annual grasses continue to invade the Great Basin and other rangelands across the American West.


Working Lands for Wildlife magazine: A Partnership for Conserving Landscapes, Communities and Wildlife


Through Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), the NRCS has created a win-win model of private lands conservation that benefits wildlife and people that now includes conservation efforts focused on 19 diverse landscapes in 48 states.