Habitat management can be an effective tool to optimize one or more of the requirements of wildlife species: food, shelter, space and water. From fields, wetlands, forests and backyards, each can provide for the requirements needed for a wildlife species to thrive. Habitat management seeks to provide and maintain habitat characteristics for a suite of wildlife species with activities ranging from mowing, planting, harvesting timber, raising or lowering water levels and numerous other activities.
MDIFW is responsible for management on all State owned Wildlife Management Areas. The WMAs comprise approximately 100,000 acres and contain a diverse array of habitats, from wetland flowages critical to waterfowl production to the spruce-fir forests of northern Maine on which Canada Lynx, moose and wintering deer are dependent. Spread geographically throughout all counties of the State the properties are available for a multitude of recreational opportunities, with a focus on hunting, fishing and trapping. The focus on offering these types of recreational opportunities is in line with the funding used to acquire such properties, historically accomplished with funding from Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration and State bonding approved by voters.
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. Get details about the Lands Management Program.
Apart from the primary benefit of providing wildlife an acceptable place to call home, habitat management provides additional benefits including aesthetics, recreation, economic opportunities and ecological benefits. The Wildlife Division actively manages State owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to provide for optimum upland and wetland wildlife habitat consistent with the ecological capacities of the land and water. Get details about Wildlife Management Areas, including maps.
Outreach activities undertaken by the Department assist private landowner with habitat management practices they may choose to implement on their property. This is an important consideration because, after all, over 95 percent of the State of Maine is in private ownership. Get details about how the Department works with private landowners.
In 2000, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) undertook an effort to reduce the confusion of having different hunting zones for deer, moose, turkey, and waterfowl by designing a zoning system that met the management requirements for all species, while unifying boundary lines. As a result of that effort, Maine was divided into 30 parcels, and the term Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) was born. Get details about Wildlife Management Districts, including maps.