What is the National Cooperators' Coalition?
What is Needed in FY13

The National Cooperators’ Coalition is an alliance of nonfederal cooperators and other supporters of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Program. Its members include state wildlife agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations. The mission of the NCC is to build a stronger and more coordinated base of support to serve research, education, and technical assistance needs of the nonfederal CFWRU program cooperators. 

What are the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units?

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units (CFWRUs) facilitate partnerships among researchers, managers, educators, and other stakeholders to provide practical  science-based information to state and federal agencies, private landowners, and the public, while providing research and educational experiences for graduate students – our future natural resource professionals. 

Why are the Units Needed?

Each of the 40 CFWRUs in 38 states is a federal-state-university-private partnership that leverage more than three dollars for every dollar appropriated to the program by Congress. Annually, CFWRU scientists engage in over 1,000 research projects, publish 300 articles in peer-reviewed scientific literature, and help educate more than 500 graduate students. 

Education & Training

     By teaching formal courses, and mentoring graduate students and supervising their research, the CFWRUs will play a key role in replacing the natural resource professionals who retire in the next 10 years. They will develop high-quality professionals who are: 
  • Well versed in science
  • Grounded in state and federal agency experience
  • Capable of working in complex interdisciplinary teams
  • Able to assist private landowners, members of the public, and resource managers
  • Culturally diverse


    The CFWRUs will provide useful information for managers and landowners on high priority challenges:

  • Stakeholder Engagement and CoordinationWater for ecological needs
  • Infectious disease and the environment
  • Invasive species 
  • Energy development and other land use dynamics
  • Climate variability
  • The CFWRUs will engage a broad array of stakeholders in a partnership that involves: 
  • Identifying their needs
  • Ensuring relevance by maintaining contact with stakeholders
  • Assisting them by sharing relevant information in a timely and effective manner 

What Specifically are We Asking For?

Full Funding for Existing Units

For Fiscal Year 2011, we are asking that the Interior Department budget request reflects approximately $22 million for the CRU to fill remaining scientist vacancies, restore seriously eroded operational funds for each CRU, and enhance national program coordination. This restoration of full funding not only would restore necessary capacity in the CRU program for it to meet the nation’s research and training needs, it also would ensure that the Interior Department provides the federal scientist staffing agreed to with partners so that the return on their continuing investment in the CRU is realized and fully leveraged.

Creation of a Competitive, Research Matching Fund Program for Use Only by Coop Units

To begin meeting the high priority research and training needs of the Units, in Fiscal Year 2011, we are asking for the Interior Department budget request to establish a competitive, matching fund program within existing CRU legislative authority that would make available up to $20 million annually in new funds beyond base operational costs. These new funds would support future cooperative high priority efforts to facilitate research at large ecological and landscape scales and to enhance the linkages between the science and management so that natural resources agencies are able to meet the challenges of climate change, renewable energy development, and water resource conservation and use.

Adding Capacity Through the Unit Program

In the future, it would be desirable for the Unit Program to grow both in terms of sheer numbers of Units as well as in the number of USGS scientists. It is clear that there is a lack of capacity and a strong interest in both areas. Several states that want their own Units either do must be serviced by outside Units or in some other manner. In addition, emerging issues and needs warrant the expansion of scientist in the system to allow for conducting additional research and producing additional graduates that are both sorely needed by the cooperators and others.

Steve Riley,
Oct 7, 2009, 12:46 PM
Steve Riley,
Oct 6, 2009, 1:49 PM
Steve Riley,
Oct 6, 2009, 1:39 PM