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Wildlife Coming Back to Private Lands

Wildlife Coming Back to Private Lands

From Connecticut to California and from Mississippi to Montana, wildlife habitat has been surely and steadily improving in the past 20 years. Most wildlife depends on private landowners to provide the habitats they need to survive, and farmers, ranchers, and other stewards of private lands all across the country are responding to that need.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a long legacy of helping farmers and ranchers conserve soil, water, wildlife and other resources on private lands. Over the last 20 years, we and our conservation partners have used conservation programs to help tens of thousands of landowners establish millions of acres of productive fish and wildlife habitat throughout the country.

Restored wetlands and grasslands, conservation buffers in crop fields, newly planted trees, and other habitats are working well with wildlife reintroduction and conservation programs of state fish and game agencies and private wildlife organizations. In many cases, the result is a dramatic return of wildlife diversity and populations to levels of 50 to 100 years ago. USDA programs have helped triple the pheasant population in South Dakota and double it in North Dakota, Ohio, Minnesota, and Montana. At the turn of the century, there were few wild turkeys in Montana. Now, wild turkeys number in the thousands and are found across the state. Few bald eagle nests could be found in Montana in 1970s. Now, our national bird numbers over 300 breeding pairs; three times the recovery goal.

Efforts to improve cold water streams have led to the return of natural trout reproduction in an increasing number of streams.

For more information about conservation practices that can improve wildlife habitat on your land, stop at the local NRCS office.

Wildlife Ways

Did you know....
The bald eagle’s binocular vision enables it to see a rabbit a mile away while it is flying high on air currents. The bald eagle became the national symbol of the United States in 1782 and is protected by Federal law.