The golden-winged warbler is a state-identified target species of the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, a collaborative approach to conserve habitat on working lands. This project offers resources to help landowners restore young forest habitat needed for nesting.
State Program Overview
During the past 50 years, this vibrant songbird has experienced significant population declines throughout much of its Appalachian Mountain breeding area. Much of golden-winged warbler's habitat falls on private lands, so forest landowners play an important role in helping the bird recover. NRCS collaborates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the American Bird Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, state fish and wildlife agencies and nongovernment organizations to educate citizens about the need to protect this at-risk species.
Our conservationists are working with property owners in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to develop and implement conservation plans that target the creation of high quality early successional habitat. Funds available through this initiative help landowners pay for adoption of sustainable forestry practices to improve the overall health of trees to sustain breeding populations within and adjacent to their current range and support diverse and abundant native wildlife like American woodcock, ruffed grouse, cottontail, pollinators and many other songbirds.
Available Conservation Practices
NRCS offers more than a dozen conservation practices that can benefit the golden-winged warbler by improving early successional habitat, decreasing habitat fragmentation and reducing isolation of golden-winged warbler populations. Those offered in the Virginia fund pool are listed below.
- 472 - Access Control
- 314 - Brush Management
- 327 - Conservation Cover
- 342 - Critical Area Planting
- 324 - Deep Tillage
- 647 - Early Successional Habitat Development/Management
- 382 - Fence
- 386 - Field Border
- 394 - Firebreak
- 666 - Forest Stand Improvement
- 655 - Forest Trails and Landings
- 315 - Herbaceous Weed Control
- 484 - Mulching
- 338 - Prescribed Burning
- 528 - Prescribed Grazing
- 643 - Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Habitats
- 612 - Tree/Shrub Establishment
- 490 - Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
- 645 - Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
- 420 - Wildlife Habitat Planting
Benefits to You
Managing for healthy, diverse forests benefits game and non-game species. NRCS works closely with scientists to measure wildlife responses to conservation practices, and they’re noticing positive impacts on wildlife in managed forests. Families, hunting clubs and other private forest landowners managing for timber production can benefit from sustainably managed forests as they “reset the clock” on low-value forests to regenerate healthier and more valuable stands of trees.
Ready to get started?
Contact your local service center to start your application.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
- An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
- A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
- A farm tract number.
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.