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


Jamie's Pond WMA

Beginning in the summer of 2016 the Department will commence work in the Jamie's Pond Wildlife Management area. Goals include mast tree release to increase foraging opportunities for deer, snowshoe hare and turkey, deer wintering area work to increase browse, and patch openings in aspen dominated areas to provide habitat for both grouse and woodcock. Due to the nature of the work, biological diversity will also be enhanced. The project will begin sometime around the middle of the summer and continue until the winter of 2018 eventually covering 70% of the approximately 900 acres of this WMA. In addition to enhancement of wildlife habitat, two management access roads will be constructed to facilitate completion of the work. The access improvements will also enable non-motorized recreational access following completion of the active habitat work. Read more about Jamie's Pond WMA harvest (PDF).

Habitat management activity at Jamies Pond Wildlife will resume in early January and is expected to conclude before spring 2019. See map (.jpg) (updated January, 2019) indicating anticipated harvest areas in the WMA.  The map indicates the areas to be operated though not every acre will see activity.  No walking trails will be closed though the public is cautioned to stay clear of equipment.  Trucking is expected to continue following operations in the woods and final closeout will occur in the summer of 2019.

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Lt. Gordon Manuel WMA Habitat Management

The Lt. Gordon Manuel Wildlife Management Area occupies portions of the towns of Hodgdon, Cary Plantation and Linneus in Southern Aroostook County.  Management will focus on the maintenance and improvement of deer wintering area habitat, grouse and woodcock habitat and habitat for snowshoe hare.

The 400+ acre compartment of Lt. Gordon Manuel scheduled for habitat work contains favorable cover for overwintering deer but forage adjacent to it is lacking.  Habitat work will harvest some hardwood stems resulting in a flush of new browse over the course of the next few years.  Portions of the compartment also contain a strong aspen component which is preferred by ruffed grouse for cover and budding.  Management activities will also benefit snowshoe hare as the site regenerates to young forest.  Work is expected to resume in mid-January of 2019 and conclude before spring.  Some closeout of winter and temporary access roads will follow in the summer but the primary summer access road through the compartment will remain open for public use.

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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.