Log in links for this page

MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program

The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program provides assistance to private and municipal owners of protected lands to enhance wildlife habitat, while promoting public access for outdoor recreation.

Table of Contents

How to apply for MassWildlife Habitat Management Program Funding

Application period is closed for FY24.

MHMGP overview and objectives

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is responsible for the conservation—including restoration, protection, and management—of fish, wildlife, and their habitats in Massachusetts. Although MassWildlife and other conservation organizations have made unprecedented investments in land acquisition in Massachusetts, land protection alone is not enough to guarantee the persistence of the Commonwealth’s diverse wildlife. Investment in habitat restoration and management is urgently needed on public and private lands across the state. To address this need, MassWildlife and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs have substantially increased their investment in habitat management on state wildlife lands and are committed to working with partners to promote these efforts on other conserved lands across the state. The MHMGP program encourages landowners to engage in active habitat management on their properties to benefit wildlife. 

MHMGP objectives

  1. Improve habitat(s) for game species (those species that can be legally hunted, fished, and trapped in MA).
  2. Manage habitat(s) for Species of Greatest Conservation Need as identified in the Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) – special emphasis on State-Endangered and State-Threatened Species.
  3. Enhance ecological communities disproportionally susceptible to climate change (fire adapted communities, riparian buffers along coldwater fisheries resources, etc.).
  4. Promote public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other wildlife associated recreation on conserved lands.

Eligible entities

Owners of private or municipal conserved lands in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Conserved land is defined as property protected by a Conservation Restriction or Easement, an Agricultural Preservation Restriction, land enrolled in Chapter 61, 61A/B, land subject to a current Landowner Incentive Program covenant, land owned in fee by a non-profit organization whose primary mission is the conservation of land, municipal land under the care and control of the town conservation commission and town forests (parks and recreation land is not eligible unless there is a conservation restriction or it is enrolled in Chapter 61 or 61A/B); or an entity under equivalent protection as determined by MassWildlife staff. 

Award and timeline information

Applications must be received by October 31, 2023 by 5:00 PM Eastern

Award amounts: Applicants are eligible to receive between $10,000 and $75,000 per grant towards their approved habitat management project.

Posting date:

MassWildlife posted the FY2024 MHMGP grant application and RFP on September 1, 2023.

Application deadline: Applications are closed for FY24.

Project deadline: All work must be completed and all awarded funds expended by June 30, 2024. There are no extensions possible under this program.


What types of habitat projects does this grant program support?

Examples of Habitat Types supported by the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program




Warm season grassland (e.g., native little bluestem)

Cool season grassland (e.g., native meadow)


Sandplain Grasslands and Heathlands

Oak Forests and Woodlands


Calcareous Wetlands

Coastal Plain Pondshores

Riparian Floodplains

Acidic Peatlands

Marshes and Wet Meadows





Examples of Habitat Restoration & Management Practices supported by the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program (with applicable permitting)

Scroll left Scroll right





Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control



Tree Clearing & Stumping


Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control


Invasive Control

Woody Debris Addition

Riverbank Stabilization

Small Dam Removal

Culvert Removal / Replacement

Stream Crossing Improvements

Allowable and ineligible costs and activities

Allowable activities/costs (partial list, see RFP for full list):

Direct costs for on the ground habitat improvements specifically designed to benefit wildlife will be eligible for reimbursement.  All project costs must be approved in the agreed upon contract budget to be eligible for reimbursement.

  • Examples (not limited to) of eligible enhancements and/or practices: Mowing, brush hogging, heavy chipping, clearing of trees, contract grazing, control of invasive plants in the project area (mechanical and chemical), fencing for habitat protection, prescribed burning, woodland improvements (thinning, cutting or girdling of trees), tree planting of species beneficial to wildlife, nest site creation or installation of nesting structures, seeding/planting of native species, natural community enhancement, core habitat or critical natural landscape enhancements
  • Staff time for on-the-ground project implementation (base salary only, no fringe or indirect expenses). Documentation of the base salary rate will be required.
  • Contract costs for management services.
  • Materials and Supplies necessary to achieve project goals.
  • Signs for the purpose of communicating the benefit of the MHMGP funded habitat improvement project may be an eligible expense. (ex. a sign posted during active management to inform the public of the benefits of the activity)
  • Signs that indicate that the property is open to hunting, fishing, and trapping.
  • Equipment Rentals: Equipment rentals may be considered eligible if the rental activity ties directly to the implementation of MHMGP funded project. For example, rental of a brush hog to help maintain old field habitat.  Rental costs approved by MassWildlife may ONLY be used for the implementation of the MHMGP project and not for any other activity.  Grantees may be reimbursed for the use of their own equipment to perform the agreed upon work. Reimbursement rates will be based on staff time for equipment operation plus the standard rental fee of such equipment (quotes required) OR may be based on approved NRCS rates (links to these rates to be found below).
  • Costs related to the cleaning of equipment after project completion to prevent the spread of invasive plants

Ineligible activities/costs:

  • Activities such as land acquisition, trails, signage (except as noted above), and public access improvements.
  • Boundary marking and surveying.
  • Funding may not be utilized towards satisfying any federal, state, or local permitting or legal requirements associated with a regulatory process.
  • Travel to conferences or meetings or other travel expenditures of the grantee (contracted vendor travel expenditures incorporated into the bid or quote are allowable).
  • Rental of a vehicle to commute to and from the site will not be approved and is not an allowable cost.
  • Per diem/meals/drinks/clothing or other personal items whether for the grantee, contractor, or for volunteer appreciation.
  • Permitting costs, planning activities (cutting plans, prescribed burning plans, engineering plans, forest cutting plans, etc.), project administration, indirect, fringe or other overhead costs (ex. office/rental space, Utilities, IT costs, and more).
  • Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant agreement or after the close of the grant agreement period.
  • Research, inventory, survey, soil/water testing, or biological monitoring activities.
  • Informational or Educational materials, supplies, or services (except as noted above).
  • Information and Technology Materials, Equipment, or Services.
  • Supplemental Feeding Activities/Costs (ex. Food Plots, Bird Feeders).
  • Any expense not pre-approved in writing by MassWildlife.

Use these documents to complete your proposal

Related Resources


Contact James Burnham, Program Coordinator, with questions.  

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.