Working Lands for Wildlife Targets Golden-Winged Warbler Habitat
Annapolis, Md., January 31, 2013– Maryland farmers and forest landowners in Allegany, Garret, and parts of Washington County can now sign-up for assistance to protect and restore habitat for the Golden-Winged Warbler. This migratory songbird is a target species of Working Lands for Wildlife, a partnership effort between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Working Lands for Wildlife works across the country to combat the decline of eight specific wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs.
Maryland’s Appalachian region offers a tremendous opportunity to improve habitat for the Golden Winged Warbler and other species such as woodcock, grouse and wild turkey.These birds depend upon shrubby, vegetated areas like forest clear-cuts, alder swamps, utility rights-of way and other similar habitats for breeding. Several factors have contributed to the decline of these habitats including direct losses to development, re-forestation of farmland, fire suppression, and changes in agricultural and forestry practices.
Working Lands for Wildlife will focus on the creation, management and maintenance of early successional habitat within and associated with forested landscapes, or adjacent to active agriculture or pastureland.NRCS has financial assistance available to share the cost of conservation practices with landowners in areas known to support golden-winged warblers.
Interested producers and landowners can apply for Working Lands for Wildlife at their local NRCS field office. Program applications are accepted throughout the year, but funding selections are made at specific times. The next cutoff date is February 15, 2013. It is especially important for producers to get their applications in as soon as possible to be eligible for limited funding. NRCS and USFWS staff will evaluate applications to determine whether the land contains golden-winged warbler habitat and the potential for improvement or restoration.
For more information about NRCS conservation programs online, visit: http://www.md.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit your local USDA Service Center.