FFMB: Western Maine

Are you in western Maine and interested in wildlife-friendly woodland management? There is funding available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for management plans that include specific wildlife-related components. Take a look at the map below to see if your property falls within the project boundaries.

Whites to Moosehead RCPP Towns

 

What should your management plan include?

  • A variety of forest habitats, including different native tree and shrub species, ages and sizes
  • Habitat for older-forest bird species and species that require large patches of continuous forest
  • High value habitats such as wetlands, vernal pools, old growth or late successional stands, and deer wintering areas, if they are present on the property
  • Rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species if they are present on the property
  • Habitat for other species of conservation concern, such as Maine Audubon’s “Priority Forest Birds”
  • Areas adjacent to streams, ponds, lakes, and wetlands
  • Maintenance or restoration of pathways for fish and other aquatic critters where roads or trails cross streams
  • Important wildlife trees – such as dead standing trees, trees with nesting cavities, and nut-producing trees – as well as rotting logs that help support habitat diversity on the forest floor

Whenever possible, your forester will include these elements in the plan as well:

  • Using current Best Management Practices to protect soils and water quality
  • Identifying and controlling invasive plants that threaten our native forests
  • Ensuring that new forest roads and trails are located so they will minimize impacts to sensitive wildlife habitats, and existing roads and trails are retired if no longer needed
  • Modifying management to promote a more resilient forest in the face of changing climate conditions

How do I apply?

The first step in working with NRCS is to establish a farm record with your local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Click here to find the office closest to you. After that, you can submit an application to NRCS for funding to create a wildlife-friendly management plan. The management plan (in addition to helping you plan what to do to support wildlife and your other objectives) will also provide you access to future programs from NRCS for financial assistance to implement what the management plan has laid out.

Environmental Qualify Incentives Program (EQIP)

This program is managed by the USDA NRCS and is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying landowners to help plan and implement conservation practices that address concerns regarding natural resources.

Check out the NRCS signup notice, additional information (including required forest management plan elements), and a map of field offices.

Interested in wildlife-friendly management plans but not sure where to start first? Email conserve@maineaudubon.org to start the conversation!