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Working Lands For Wildlife

A banner for the Working Lands for Wildlife in Vermont: four pictures of 1- a turtle, 2-landowners looking at young trees in a forest, 3- a golden winged warbler and 4- a spotted turtle.

The nation’s rural landowners, its farmers, ranchers, and forest owners, provide not only food and fiber for the world, but also a host of environmental benefits, including habitat for wildlife.  Nearly two thirds of all species federally listed as threatened or endangered exist on private lands.  Conservation efforts on these lands generate outdoor recreation and economic activity that result in sustained growth for local communities and landowners.

Working Lands for Wildlife is a new partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to use agency technical expertise combined with $33 million in financial assistance from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to combat the decline of seven specific wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs. 


Through Working Lands for Wildlife landowners can voluntarily participate in an incentive-based efforts to:

  • Restore populations of declining wildlife species.
  • Provide farmers, ranchers, and forest managers with regulatory certainty that conservation investments they make today help sustain their operations over the long term.
  • Strengthen and sustain rural economies by restoring and protecting the productive capacity of working lands.

Species Selection Criteria

The Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative will target species whose decline can be reversed and will benefit other species with similar habitat needs.

Want to learn more? This "Science to Solutions" report highlights best ways to help this at-risk species on private lands.

Download the report (PDF; 1.2 MB)Golden Winged Warbler Report Cover Thumbnail

GWorking Lands for Wildlife - Golden-winged Warblerolden-winged Warbler

The most common explanations for the decline of the Golden-winged Warbler point to the loss and degradation of early successional habitat. Golden-winged Warblers and many other species depend upon shrubby, idle vegetated areas like forest clear-cuts, alder swamps, utility rights-of way and other similar habitats for breeding. Several factors have contributed to the decline of these habitats including direct losses to development, re-forestation of farmland, fire suppression, and changes in agricultural and forestry practices.

A map of the focal area for NRCS, Vermont regarding the Golden Wing Warbler To the left is a map indicating the Golden Winged Warbler focal areas in Vermont.

Click here to open the map.

(PDF, 3.2 MB)