Skip Navigation

2010 Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

2010 Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI)

Staff Contact:
Steve Cruse
Acting Assistant State Conservationist/Programs
Phone:(318) 473-7680
Tim Landreneau
State Program Specialist
Phone: (318) 473-7759
Fax: (318) 473-7682


Under a new Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, USDA will work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to manage portions of their land to enhance habitat for migrating birds.

The initiative includes portions of eight States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. USDA will use conservation programs administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is coordinating with State and private organizations. NRCS will assist producers in developing, enhancing and managing habitat for the migratory birds expected to pass through two major North American flyways to the Gulf in the coming months. In cooperation with its conservation partners, NRCS has identified priority areas in each state that offer the greatest habitat potential for migrating bird populations. NRCS anticipates improving habitat on up to 100,000 to 150,000 acres based on projected producer participation.

The signup will run from June 28 to August 1. Interested producers should contact their local USDA Service Center for additional information.

Louisiana Migratory Waterfowl Priority AreasMap of Louisiana Migratory Waterfowl Priority Areas
Click on map for full screen version in PDF format

which requires Adobe Acrobat.



State Conservationist Kevin Norton has announced that USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will work with farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to develop and enhance habitat for birds making their annual migration south towards the Gulf of Mexico. Under the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative, NRCS will partner with producers to manage portions of their land to provide additional food and habitat for migrating birds.

Norton estimates more than $1 million in funding for the initiative in Louisiana.

“More than 50 million migratory birds traveling south in coming months will instinctively head toward the marshes and coastlands of the northern Gulf of Mexico,” said Norton. “With some marshes and shorelines already degraded and the potential for larger-scale oil impacts in the coming months, it is essential that we provide inland and coastal food, water, and cover for migratory birds before they reach the oil-impacted areas.”

Priority areas in Louisiana are in Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Richland, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tensas, Vermilion, and West Carroll Parishes.

“We expect there will be great interest from our farmers and ranchers who want to do something positive to help the migrating birds–not only this fall, but next spring and in subsequent years as well,” said Norton.

MBHI Total Estimated Habitat Acres in Applications

Map of Total Estimated Habitat Acres (PDF; 38 KB)
Click on map for full screen version in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat.

All Program Applications and Contracts for Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

Map of All Program Applications for MBHI (PDF; 650 KB)Map of All Program Contracts for MBHI (PDF; 517 KB)
Click on maps for full screen version in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat.

USDA will use conservation programs administered by NRCS and will work with partners, both public and private, to provide a variety of habitats to meet the needs of different species. Emphasis will be on creating or enhancing habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, including shallow water, mudflat, and sandflat habitats. Of special interest are agricultural lands that contain wetlands farmed under natural conditions and prior converted croplands. Rice fields are particularly well-suited for this initiative, as are catfish and crawfish farms.

USDA will deliver this initiative with the support from partners in Louisiana including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Gulf Coast Joint Venture, Ducks Unlimited, LSU AgCenter, USA Rice Federation, The Nature Conservancy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Louisiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

WRP Easements and Bird Habitat

Joint Venture Regions

Map of Priority Areas for the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative Map of WRP Easements and Bird Habitat Regions

Click on maps for full screen version in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat.

Additional Information:

The documents below require Adobe Acrobat.