Private landowners hold the key to the future of wildlife conservation and environmental quality. The goal of the private lands initiative is to help Georgia's private landowners meet their wildlife habitat and population objectives.
The Private Lands Program (PLP) includes:
- The Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI)
- Partnership Initiatives: Technical Guidance for Farm Bill and other inter-agency programs providing conservation assistance for landowners.
- Forestry for Wildlife Partnership
- Forest Stewardship Program
Georgia's landscape is 93% privately owned. More than 80% of Georgians are interested in wildlife and support funding wildlife education and habitat management programs. Through science-based conservation planning, landowners can more effectively reach their wildlife and natural resource goals and make sure these resources are in good condition for Georgia's future generations. Participation in these programs is voluntary. Objectives are determined by the landowner. Professional technical assistance is provided free of charge, and financial incentives for conservation practices may be available. WRD wildlife biologists are available to work with landowners to develop comprehensive wildlife management plans. They can also match landowner needs to one or more federal and state conservation programs. Assistance is available within all of Georgia's 159 counties.
Landowner Assistance Programs to Help You Create Habitat for Wildlife
Information for landowners on the availability of technical guidance and/or financial incentives.
- Landowner's Guide to Conservation Incentives
- Georgia NRCS Conservation Programs
- USFWS Partners Program
Technical Guidance for Farm Bill and other inter-agency programs providing conservation assistance for landowners. Private Lands Program biologists are available to assist landowners plan and navigate programs offered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of the Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA), administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is to assist landowners in planning and implementing conservation systems that:
- reduce erosion and upstream flooding
- improve and conserve wetlands
- enhance fish and wildlife habitat
- air quality
- pasture and range condition
- soil and water quality
NRCS assistance is provided through conservation districts to landowners who want to apply conservation practices. NRCS district conservationists can also provide technical assistance to landowners enrolled in Farm Bill programs. A customized conservation plan can be written that identifies the appropriate conservation practices most applicable to a landowner’s property. GADNR has biologists working with local NRCS offices throughout the state. Contact your local partner biologist by calling the Private Lands Program 229-420-1183.
Selected Wildlife Program Links
- Working Lands for Wildlife: Gopher Tortoise
- National Bobwhite Quail Southern Pine Savanna Restoration Project
- Georgia Bobwhite Quail Southern Pine Savanna Restoration Project
Private Lands Program (PLP) wildlife biologists work in partnership with Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), foresters and Georgia Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel, to provide wildlife related technical assistance in developing Forest Stewardship Plans. The FSP provides technical help for landowners to manage forested property based on integrated and free advice from a team of professional soil/water experts, foresters and wildlife biologists. Recommendations will help you reach your objectives.
- Quality, customized advice ensured through in-person, on-site visits to your property.
- Written management plans tailored based on landowner objectives: timber, wildlife, soil and water, recreation, aesthetics, and co-equal resource concern.
- Plans encourage long-term sustainability of forest ecosystems.
- Advice founded on blended input from a united variety of professionals.
Why is FSP Important?
Forested ecosystems and the way they are treated are essential for air quality, clean water, wildlife habitat, economics, aesthetics, recreational use and much more. The FSP helps restore and maintain critical characteristics of natural ecosystems. The program's focus is lands managed mainly for silvocultural (forest agricultural) purposes.
Envision the world’s landscapes such that our future families will be able to make a living from our land. All while helping to take care of the abiotic resources (soil, water, air, fire) that support entire ecosystems which are unique blends of native plant, tree and wildlife communities that, in turn, support us.
Your FSP Plan will include:
- maps that delineate locations of natural resource stand types
- descriptions and recommendations for each
- 10-year management schedules
- notification of special natural resource concerns such as:
- archaeological, cultural and historical resources
- rare, threatened and endangered species
- financial assistance programs
- guidance for accessing further information and services that interest you
Eligibility Requirements & Financial Incentives
Any private, non-industrial landowner with a minimum of 25 total acres, of which at least 10 is forested, is eligible. Landowners have no obligation to implement recommendations. FSP should advise you of financial incentive opportunities, of which many give priority to FSP plan holders.
How to Get Started
If wildlife is an important objective for you, call a professional wildlife biologist who will help you get started working with a GFC forester to visit your property and co-write a plan. Contact us:
Private Lands Program
116 Rum Creek Drive
Forsyth, GA 31029