United States Fish and Wildlife Service

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The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a federal government agency within the United States 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."

The leader of FWS is the director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. On Monday, December 6, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Daniel M. Ashe, of Maryland, to the U.S. Senate to be the new Director, succeeding Samuel D. Hamilton.[citation needed]

Units within the FWS include:



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 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 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; 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.

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