Deadline to Apply for a Habitat Management Grant is September 2nd

17 Jun

Would you like to improve habitat for birds or other wildlife on your property but don’t have the money to get it done?  If so, you should consider apply for a Mass Wildlife Habitat Management Grant.

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.

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. Promote public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other wildlife associated recreation on conserved lands.

 Applicants are eligible to receive between $10,000 and $50,000 per grant towards their approved habitat management project.

Owners of private or municipal conserved lands in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are eligible to apply for a Habitat Management Grant.

Conserved land is defined as property in one of these categories:

  • protected by a Conservation Restriction or Easement,
  • or by an Agricultural Protection 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; or an entity under equivalent protection as determined by MassWildlife staff.

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

Grassland Shrubland Forest
Upland Warm season (e.g., native little bluestem)

Cool Season (e.g., native meadow)

Scrub oak barrens

Blueberry barrens

Abandoned orchard

Abandoned field (e.g., viburnum, dogwood, serviceberry, etc.)

Young forest (including regeneration of aspen, mixed hardwoods, and/or mixed hardwood/softwood forest)

Mast  & Cover tree release


Wetland Calcareous Fen

Coastal Plain Pondshore Community

Wet Meadow

Shallow Marsh

Acidic Graminoid Fen

Shrub swamp

Acidic Shrub Fen

Atlantic white cedar swamps

Floodplain Forest

Spruce – Tamarack Bog

Other NHESP wetland forest Priority Natural Communities.

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

Grassland Shrubland Forest
Upland Mowing

Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control



Tree Clearing & Stumping


Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control

Tree Clearing & Stumping

Clearing of un-merchantable trees

Invasive Control

Prescribed Burning

Establishment of downed coarse woody debris

Establishment of tip-up trees


Wetland Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control


Prescribed Burning

Invasive Control

Establishment of downed coarse woody debris

Invasive Control



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

For more information, contact James Burnham, MassWildlife Program Coordinator at 508 389-6343.

For information about how to apply for a grant, see

Grant applications must be postmarked no later than September 2, 2019.