Maine.gov

It all Begins with Habitat.

Beginning with Habitat (BwH) helps Maine municipalities, landowners, and land trusts build habitat conservation into their long-term plans.

The program was created in 2000 to collect, connect, and consolidate the wealth of habitat information being produced by separate federal, state, and local agencies as well as non-governmental organizations.

From our office within the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, we create comprehensive packages for each Maine municipality which include multi-layer maps, information about native habitats, and localized conservation strategies. We also provide technical assistance to help planners, land trusts, and private developers put the data to use.

Ultimately, this empowers decision-makers to guide growth in such a way that 50 years from now Maine’s quality of place, including fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, and outdoor recreation – and all the economic activity it brings to our state – will endure.


It was always our belief that conservation and development should work together in cooperation to achieve mutual goals.

-Peggy Ayers, Developer, Terrapin Green (Biddeford)

Are you looking to create an open space, conservation, or comprehensive plan? We’re here to help.

Get your plan started by browsing the resources on this site and getting familiar with what BwH has to offer. When you’re ready for feedback on your plan, or if you need technical assistance along the way, contact our team

Note: BwH can help with early and preliminary project scoping; but if your project will need environmental permitting or you wish to learn more about regulated natural resources on your property pursuant to MDIFW’s authority, please reach out to MDIFW’s Environmental Review Program.

Showcase your efforts to conserve Maine’s most vulnerable species and habitats

Maine’s Conservation Action Tracker showcases conservation actions taken by landowners, companies, non-governmental organizations, tribes, government agencies, and individuals. Actions range from planting backyard pollinator gardens to conducting field surveys of rare snakes and turtles and replacing culverts to restore fish and wildlife passageways. If you have acted to help keep Maine’s fish and wildlife thriving for generations to come, we want to hear about it! Add your accomplishment to show how partners across the state make a difference, learn about fellow conservation projects, make connections, and more. Get started