Conservation funding

Federal resource agencies  such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide essential services to protect, restore, and responsibly manage our public lands, waters, and fish and wildlife resources.

Strong funding is essential to ensuring that these and other resource agencies have the staff and resources to properly manage parks, maintain trails, protect intact habitat and restore habitat that has become degraded, and otherwise promote healthy lands and waters and their use for outdoor recreation and other purposes.

Trout Unlimited volunteers and staff around the country are actively engaged in restoration projects and partnerships that rely on federal resource agency programs and staff to help spur investments. From repairing culverts on streams damaged by floods, to working with our agricultural partners to improve on-farm water efficiency to increase instream flows , we are able to leverage federal program dollars with matching funds and volunteer contributions to achieve incredible results.

These agency programs represent sound investments in restoring and maintaining water quality, watershed health, and coldwater fisheries. Many of these programs provide essential seed money for Trout Unlimited projects, which we leverage with private dollars, as well as with other state and other federal agency funding, to amplify their value.

What are “conservation programs” and what is the funding process?

Featured programs – LWCF / EPA 319 / Fish Passage / NFHAP

  • Or – by outcome / application, eg:
  • Cleaning up abandoned mines (link to subpage outlining funding programs and agency partnerships for abandoned mine cleanup. EPA Section 319; This subpage is cross-linked to “Abandoned mine reclamation page” or )
  • Reconnecting watersheds through Barrier Removal

How do we influence the process and why does the outcome matter to Trout Unlimited?

Federal resource agencies are funded through the government’s annual budget and appropriations process. Trout Unlimited engages in the budget and appropriations process at several points along the way, to advocate for adequate funding for agency staff and programs that are important for fulfilling the government’s vital role in ensuring Americans have clean water and healthy public lands.

We do this by sharing stories of the remarkable conservation successes that Trout Unlimited staff and volunteers, working in partnership with willing landowners and agency partners, are able to accomplish in watersheds across the country with the support of federal conservation programs.

Our stories illustrate that through a combination of our members’ passion for the resource and our collaborative approach to building and implementing solutions, Trout Unlimited is able to leverage modest federal dollars many times over to amplify the public and conservation benefits of our projects.

From providing miles of stream-side fencing to restore brook trout in West Virginia, to upgrading irrigation facilities to restore cutthroat trout in Utah and Montana, Trout Unlimited and our partners have conducted hundreds of great conservation projects across the country by effectively leveraging federal conservation dollars.

Funding for these agencies is essential to ensure that agencies have staff and resources to properly manage parks, maintain trails and restore damaged habitat to promote healthier lands and waters.

Additional resources

Contact us: For more information on the specific programs and projects that Trout Unlimited is working on with support of federal partners or programs, please contact Steve Moyer or Kate Miller.

About the Appropriations Process:

About the Agencies and Programs: Check out the Agency in Brief series to learn more about these key agencies and programs: