The goal of MassWildlife's Habitat Program is to expand areas of grassland, shrubland, and young forest habitats across Massachusetts by conducting management activities like habitat restoration, improvement, and maintenance projects. Click here to learn more about the Habitat Program.


Other MassWildlife Habitat Related Programs:

The following programs within the agency are coordinated to carry out conservation strategies identified in the State Wildlife Action Plan.

  1. Land Acquisition Program - Focuses on habitat protection through conservation of openspace either by fee acquisition (transfer of private lands to public lands) or by conservation easement (purchase of development and public access rights while underlying fee interest remains in private ownership).
  2.  Habitat Program - A component of the DFW Biodiversity Initiative that focuses on declining grassland, shrubland, and young forest habitats across Massachusetts in support of DFW landscape goals for wildlife habitat.
  3. Spatial Data Mapping & Coordination - Focuses on tracking habitat management efforts by all DFW programs in a central geodatabase.
  4. Ecological Restoration Program - A component of the DFW Biodiversity Initiative that focuses on habitat restoration at sites of exceptional ecological significance identified from DFW's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program database that are on public lands under permanent conservation protection.
  5. District Management Efforts - Focus on DFW District office staff efforts at maintaining open field habitats and abandoned orchard habitats in coordination with the Upland Program.
  6. Target Fish Community - The Target Fish Community (TFC) effort illustrates what a river fish population should look like in southern New England rivers and represents a measurable goal for restoration efforts. A 5 MB technical report on this effort is posted in this area.
  7. Coldwater Fishery Resource Identification - A project to identify waters that the Division has designated to be Coldwater Fishery Resources (CFR's) was initiated in 2001. These waters have native brook trout, slimy sculpin, longnose sucker or lake chub present or are stocked with Atlantic salmon fry or parr. This project has been ongoing and the CFR list is updated based on fish samples collected each year.
  8. MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program- This program focuses on managing private and municipal lands to enhance habitat and increase recreational opportunities on properties that have been conserved across the state.
  9.  Natural Resources Conservation Service Financial Assistance - NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to help agricultural producers make and maintain conservation improvements on their land.
  10. American Woodcock Initiative - Co-sponsored by the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Wildlife Management Institute and DFW, this nationwide program focuses on habitat management on private lands to benefit American woodcock and other declining wildlife populations through maintenance of field and shrubland habitats, and the creation of young forest habitat in Massachusetts.
  11. New England Cottontail Initiative - Funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and coordinated by the Wildlife Management Institute, this new regional program focuses on identification, prioritization, and management of shrubland and young forest habitats to support the declining New England cottontail. Learn more about New England Cottontail Conservation at