Skip Navigation

News Release

Funding available for North Jersey forest owners to restore Golden-Winged Warbler habitat

Gail Bartok
(732) 537- 6042

SOMERSET, N.J., March 30, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from Northern New Jersey farmers and landowners interested in installing conservation practices to help restore the critical wildlife habitat of the golden-winged warbler (GWWA) through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program’s (EQIP) Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW). Applications received by April 30, 2021 will be considered for funding.

“Since 2012, NRCS NJ has been working hard to restore the sights and sounds of this beautiful songbird to our forests, and observing one using created young forest habitat last spring has only strengthened our resolve to see their full resurgence,” said NJ State Conservationist Julie Hawkins. “With over 450,000 acres of prime habitat in the state, we hope to have more farmers and landowners join us on our mission.”

The golden-winged warbler is a long-distance migrant that spends winter months in Central and South America, returning to North American forests each year in the spring to breed. The birds nest on the ground in forest openings where sunlight stimulates abundant plant growth, which provides concealment for the nests and insects to feed on. The species has undergone a significant population decline over the last 60 years due to the lack of young forest habitat, which has become uncommon in New Jersey and throughout the northeastern United States where forests have matured over the last century. Young forest habitat is critically important for many species of birds, hundreds of species of insects, numerous plants, and a wide array of wildlife.

WLFW will assist private landowners in creating and maintaining the habitat necessary to sustain breeding populations through forest management plans and by providing conservation payments to support habitat enhancement.

Land located in the Appalachian region that is in or near the Conservation Boundary delineated as GWWA habitat is eligible for WLFW. In New Jersey, this Conservation Boundary occurs in Warren, Sussex, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen Counties.

For an interactive map where landowners can verify their address lies within the focal area, click here.   Golden-Wing Warbler map

Informational Workshop 

A virtual workshop to highlight available technical and financial assistance for landowners within the Conservation Boundary will take place:

April 15, from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

To register and receive login information, RSVP at the following link,