|Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Formed||June 30, 1940|
|Preceding agencies||Bureau of Biological Survey
Bureau of Fisheries
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters||Arlington County, Virginia|
|Annual budget||$2.32 billion (FY08)|
|Agency executive||Rowan Gould(Acting), Deputy Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Parent agency||US Department of the Interior|
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a federal government agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and 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."
Units within the FWS include:
The U.S. FWS originated in 1871 as the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries, created by Congress with the purpose of studying and recommending solutions to a decline in food fish. Spencer Fullerton Baird was appointed its first commissioner.In 1885, the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy was established in the 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; under his 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.
The Service is a bureau within the Department of Interior. Its mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages 548 National Wildlife Refuges and 66 National Fish Hatcheries amongst other facilities.
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).
Sam D. Hamilton, the 15th Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died suddenly on February 20, 2010 while on the mountain at Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colorado. He was 54 years old. Director Hamilton was on a ski trip with friends when he reportedly started suffering from chest pains. He was transported off the mountain and was pronounced dead at 1:16 pm. Hamilton was sworn in as USFWS director on September 1, 2009. He previously served as Regional Director of the agency's Southeast Region in Atlanta, Georgia, and had been a Fish and Wildlife Service employee for more than 30 years. Director Hamilton is survived by his wife Becky, his sons Sam Jr. and Clay and a grandson, Davis all of Atlanta, GA.
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