Maine’s Beginning with Habitat program is an award-winning, first-in-the-nation effort that has been recommended as a model in all 50 states.

Founded in 2000, the program consolidates wildlife and habitat information from public agencies and private conservation organizations all over the state and packages it up for local planners, municipal leaders, landowners, and other interested citizens.

This information is also vital for communities preparing for a changing climate.

Meet Our Team

Justin Schlawin
Program Coordinator
(207) 557-1885 Justin.Schlawin@maine.gov

Justin coordinates and directs the Beginning with Habitat Program. Justin supervises staff, promotes collaboration with steering committee members and partners, advances landscape-scale initiatives, and facilitates the delivery of technical assistance on habitat conservation and management to municipalities, conservation partners, and private landowners.

Amy Dowley
Resource Biologist
(207) 441-4513

Amy creates and maintains BwH maps, manages spatial data, and provides technical assistance and GIS support to users. Harnessing the power of GIS tools and spatial data, Amy helps inform and enhance conservation communication and decision-making at the state and local level.

Corinne Michaud-LeBlanc
Climate Coordinator
(207) 592-5841

Corinne coordinates MDIFW’s efforts to plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. She provides technical assistance to fellow state agencies, local governments, and conservation partners, with the goal of integrating climate resiliency and species vulnerabilities into strategic conservation plans.

Joe Roy
Private Lands Wildlife Biologist 
(207) 592-3344

Joe provides technical assistance to landowners, foresters, and other service providers managing land for at-risk fish and wildlife.

Our Partners Include

What We Do

We use our collaborative resources, including data-rich habitat maps, a wide range of biological and planning expertise, and proven conservation strategies, to help municipalities, land trusts, and landowners make informed plans.

Conservation Strategies

We have compiled some of the best conservation practices employed by towns, land trusts, and landowners throughout the State of Maine. Learn from their success and contact BwH to discuss the right approach for you.

Strategies for MunicipalitiesStrategies for Land TrustsStrategies for Landowners

Mapping Ecological Significance

With our partners, BwH has developed a list of 140 Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significance, which are areas throughout the state that contain unusually rich concentrations of at-risk species and habitats and across multiple towns. We incorporate these areas into regional maps and develop helpful fact sheets for each one. Learn more about BwH focus areas and search for ones near you.

Success Stories

By getting involved in the early stages, Beginning with Habitat can help communities grow without sacrificing irreplaceable resources, and help landowners balance their wildlife goals with their other land uses.

Municipality Case Studies Land Trust Case Studies Landowner Case Studies