Conservation Strategies for Landowners

Make a Plan for Your Land

Developing a plan for your land is the first step toward achieving your goals and enhancing the features you value most. Start by considering your priorities, including long-term goals for land-use change, recreation, income, and conservation of fish, wildlife, and plant habitat. Some best practices that you can employ include:

  • Create a habitat blueprint. The Beginning with Habitat maps and resources can help you get started. Use the maps to identify the unique wildlife, natural communities, and other resources on your land, then browse resources for enhancing and protecting what you have.
  • Identify your goals and values. Walk your land and determine the features and uses that you value most. These values and goals may change as you learn more about your land, resources, and opportunities, and that is okay.
  • Engage local agencies. Call your district forester at the Maine Forest Service for a free site visit to get initial ideas and guidance. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, MDIFW, and local Soil and Water Conservation District may also be able to provide technical assistance, and some agencies also offer financial assistance for natural resource management.
  • Create a Management Plan for your land. If working with forests, engage a consulting forester to inventory your land. Foresters can help you identify opportunities and write a forest management plan.
  • Coordinate with neighbors. Habitats don’t follow property boundaries, so it can be helpful to work together with neighbors to:
    • Discuss shared land values and long-term goals
    • Review maps of high value habitat and other natural resources
    • Discuss managing or conserving large blocks of habitat across property lines
    • Discuss access for neighbors and others
    • Discuss coordinated management activities to increase efficiency and financial savings
  • Implement the plan – Online resources are available to provide guidance for specific management activities. If working in forests, a consulting forester can help you turn your plan into reality, and working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service can also help you break your plan into clear, scheduled activities (or 'practices').

Make it sustainable – Learn about Maine’s Current Land Use tax programs and conservation easements and consider whether these options can help you achieve your long-term goals. Consult your local town office or regional land trust to determine opportunities.