U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a federal government agency within the United States Department of Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency reads as "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."
The Fish and Wildlife Service originated in 1871 as the United States Commission on Fish and Fisheries, created by Congress with the purpose of studying and recommending solutions to a noted decline in the stocks of food fish. Spencer Fullerton Baird was appointed its first commissioner.
In 1885, the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy was established in the United States Department of Agriculture, which in 1896 became the Division of Biological Survey. Its early work focused on the effect of birds in controlling agricultural pests and mapping the geographical distribution of plants and animals in the United States. Jay Norwood Darling was appointed Chief of the new Bureau of Biological Survey in 1934; the same year Congress passed the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (FWCA), one of the oldest federal environmental review statutes. Under Darling's guidance, the Bureau began an ongoing legacy of protecting vital natural habitat throughout the country. The Fish and Wildlife Service was finally created in 1940, when the Bureaus of Fisheries and Biological Survey were combined after being moved to the Department of the Interior.
Today, the Service consists of a central administrative office with eight regional offices and nearly 700 field offices distributed throughout the United States.
Pursuant to the eagle feather law, Title 50, Part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 22), and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers the National Eagle Repository and the permit system for Native American religious use of eagle feathers.
The Service governs two National Monuments, Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a huge maritime area northwest of Hawaii (jointly with NOAA).
FWS Endangered Species Listing Search by State