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Wildlife and Wetland Management Systems

Wildlife and Wetland Management Systems

The following conservation practices are commonly used to improve wildlife habitat and wetland values.


Aspen Regeneration - Early Successional Habitat Development Early Successional Habitat Development (Aspen Regeneration)


This practice involves establishing and maintaining a protective cover of perennial vegetation on land retired from agriculture production or other lands needing protective cover.  Conservation Cover reduces soil erosion, associated sedimentation, improves water quality, and enhances wildlife habitat.  Conservation cover does not apply to plantings for forage production or to critical areas.  When the objective is to enhance wildlife habitat, areas should be planted to encourage maximum plant diversity and to limit disturbance to grassland cover during primary breeding seasons.


This practice is accomplished by managing early plant succession to benefit desired wildlife or natural communities.  Purposes of the practice include:

� Increase plant community diversity.

� Provide wildlife or aquatic habitat for early successional species.

� Provide habitat for declining species.

This practice can be applied on all lands that are suitable for wildlife and plant species associated with early successional habitats.  The intent of this practice is to maintain desired early successional communities, manipulate habitats to maximize plant and animal diversity and to protect grassland nesting species by limiting disturbance during primary nesting season.  Exceptions will be allowed for periodic burning or mowing when necessary to maintain the health of the plant community. 


Hedgerow planting is the establishment of dense vegetation in a linear design to achieve a natural resource conservation purpose.  Purposes of the practice include providing for at least one of the following conservation functions:

� Food, cover and corridors for terrestrial wildlife.

� Food and cover for aquatic organisms that live in watercourses.

� Living fences.

Where wildlife is the objective, a diversity of trees and shrubs should be planted that provide both food and cover.


This practice involves restoring and conserving rare or declining native vegetated communities and associated wildlife species.  Purposes for the practice include:

� Restoration of land or aquatic habitats degraded by human activity.

� To provide habitat for rare and declining wildlife species by restoring and conserving

   native plant communities.

�To increase native plant community diversity.

� Management of unique or declining native habitats.

Restoration and Management of Declining Habitats is frequently used to restore degraded, rare natural communities that may be impacted by invasive plant species.


Note: NRCS uses the term "wildlife" to include all animals, terrestrial and aquatic.


This practice involves maintaining, improving, or restoring physical, chemical and biological functions of a stream. The purposes for the practice include:

� Providing suitable habitat for desired aquatic species and diverse aquatic communities.

� Providing channel morphology and associated riparian characteristics important to

  desired aquatic species.

� Providing aesthetic values and recreation opportunities associated with stream habitats

   such as angling and fish viewing.

This practice is utilized to restore and maintain degraded stream habitat and channel forming processes such as natural meandering and floodplain functions.


Tree and Shrub Establishment is performed through the establishment of woody plants by planting or seeding.  The purposes of the practice include forest products, beautification, erosion control, energy conservation, chemical/nutrient sink for water quality improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, air quality improvement, and wetland improvements.  Tree and Shrub Establishment is frequently used in concert with other practices to attain a desired effect.  Examples include establishing a woody buffer through Riparian Forest Buffer and establishing areas of food and cover through Upland Wildlife Habitat Management.


Wetland Restoration is performed by the rehabilitation of a drained or degraded wetland where the soils, hydrology, vegetative community, and biological habitat are returned to the natural condition to the extent practicable.  This practice applies only to sites with hydric soil which were natural wetlands that have been previously degraded hydrologically and/or vegetatively.  This practice is applicable only if natural hydrologic conditions can be approximated by modifying drainage and/or artificial flooding of a duration and frequency similar to natural conditions.   The purpose of the practice is to restore hydric soil conditions, hydrologic conditions, hydrophytic plant communities, and wetland functions that occurred on the disturbed wetland site prior to modification to the extent practicable.


Upland Wildlife Habitat Management is creating, maintaining, or enhancing areas of food and cover for upland wildlife.  The purpose of this practice is to enhance wildlife habitat and maintain or increase populations of wildlife species.  The practice applies to all areas where wildlife habitat needs improvement in food, cover, and management.   Habitat development and management necessary, to achieve the purpose(s), shall be based on a wildlife habitat appraisal or suitable habitat evaluation.


Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management involves retaining, creating, or managing wetland habitat for wildlife.  This practice is used to create or improve habitat for waterfowl, furbearers, or other wildlife.  This practice applies on wetlands and other areas where wetland associated wildlife habitat can be managed.  The practice is planned for specific species of wildlife.  For the desired species, identify the types, amount, and distribution of habitat elements and the management actions necessary to achieve the management objectives.  


For additional information related to these conservation practices, visit the Vermont NRCS Conservation Practice Information web page.


Go To>:       Agricultural Waste Management System Practices

                   Cropland and Hayland Management System Practices

                   Erosion Control System Practices

                   Grazing System Practices

                   Riparian Protection System Practices             

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