Lands Management Program

The Lands Management Program is charged with implementing habitat management and planning for Department owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs); a process that provides for a coordinated management approach statewide in conjunction with the Regional Wildlife Biologists.  Its mission is to maintain and improve habitat conditions across IFW’s ownership with an approach based on management activities to create or maintain optimum wildlife habitat, maximize biological diversity and protect unique natural areas.

Photo by R. Robicheau

The Lands Management Program is also charged with creating, maintaining and improving public access infrastructure on the WMAs.   These included such activities as boundary line identification and maintenance, participation in the Department’s land acquisition efforts, keeping WMAs clean from illegal dumping and assisting the public in inquiries about recreational activities.

The Lands Management Program aims to educate the private and other public ownerships about the benefits of active management for wildlife through use of the WMAs as demonstration areas where techniques and activities used by the Department can be seen in action.

Photo by R. Robicheau

In forested habitats, the primary tool for habitat management is timber harvesting.  By varying the type of timber harvesting, certain forest conditions and the habitat conditions offered by those forests can be created or maintained.  Whether promoting softwood cover for white-tailed deer habitat, hardwoods such as oak and beech for the mast produced by those tree species, or creating early successional habitat for grouse and woodcock - the main way to achieve this is through timber harvesting.

Current Management Activities

Photo by R. Robicheau

  • Current management contract covering 250 acres at the Vernon S. Walker WMA in Newfield/Shapleigh.  This project focuses on provision of habitat for woodcock, grouse, deer and associated wildlife species
  • Current management contract covering 450 acres at the R. Lyle Frost WMA in Eastbrook/Franklin.  This project focuses on promoting softwood cover for wintering deer and increasing browse production.

Ongoing Management Activities

Photo by R. Robicheau

Continuous and ongoing management activities occurring on a seasonal or yearly basis include the following:

  • Manipulation of optimum water levels for waterfowl habitat
  • Field mowing and maintenance
  • Boundary line maintenance
  • Road maintenance
  • Apple and other fruit tree maintenance
  • Herbaceous seeding

Updates (Public Meeting and Presentations)

  • A reminder that seasonal road closures in some areas will take place after the firearm deer season comes to an end.  This is undertaken to protect the road infrastructure to ensure continued recreational opportunities.  Please check back to see upcoming closure notices.
  • Currently there are no public meetings or presentations scheduled.