Do you feed birds? Have you placed nest boxes around your house for animals to live in? Have you planted flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies, birds and other wildlife? If you use these or other ways to invite wildlife to your backyard, then you are already a part of Maryland's Wild Acres! Visit the Wild Acres site to learn more about common backyard wildlife and ways to attract them to your habitat.
On a larger scale, the department's Wildlife and Heritage Service regional staff can help provide advice on how to create a buffer of warm season grasses, leave corn or wheat standing to feed migrating Canada Geese, restore a field to wetland, or make a perfect home for wild turkeys. For a list of regional offices, then please click here. Hundreds of farmers and landowners help Maryland's native and visiting wildlife find the habitat (food, water and cover) they need to survive.
There are several programs that provide management incentives for landowners who wish to become part of an important and growing network of private citizens who are helping to create and protect habitat for Maryland's wildlife. These programs include the Landowner Incentive Program and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) grew out of increasing recognition that wetlands and lands adjacent to streams (riparian areas) and other water bodies have a tremendous impact on water quality and provide critical wildlife habitat. These important conservation areas can be protected and restored in many ways. Under CREP, landowners contract with USDA through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) to receive annual rental payments, plus bonuses, for taking land out of production and installing conservation practices adjacent to waterways.