Landowners who want to create more diverse habitats for wildlife but don’t have the money to do so should consider applying for a MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant.
The MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program (MHMGP) is designed to provide financial assistance to private and municipal landowners of protected lands to support active habitat management while fostering partnerships to encourage landscape scale habitat management and expand public recreation on conserved lands.
The Habitat Management Grant Program objectives are:
· Improve habitat(s) for game species (those species that can be legally hunted, fished, and trapped in MA).
· 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.
· Expand public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other wildlife associated recreation on conserved lands.
This year $300,000 is now available for the habitat management grants.
Eligible applicants are owners of private or municipal conserved lands in Massachusetts. Conserved land is defined as property protected by a Conservation Restriction or Easement, 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.
Applicants are eligible to receive between $10,000 and $50,000 per grant towards their approved habitat management project. There is no required match.
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
Details on how to apply for the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant can be found at mass.gov/dfw/habitat-grant.
The application period is now open with a proposal deadline of October 17, 2018.