Private land habitat improvements in Texas

The NWTF and the many conservation organizations that make up the Northeast Texas Conservation Delivery Network recently worked with private landowners in 29 northeast Texas counties to provide habitat enhancement to benefit threatened species and landscapes. 

The Northeast Texas Conservation Delivery Network is a coalition of conservation organizations working to strategically restore and manage wildlife habitat in northeast Texas. The coalition includes the NWTF, Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, American Bird Conservancy, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Caddo Lake Institute, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture, among other partners.

The NWTF plays a critical role in the CDN by providing operational oversight for grants totaling $938,000 for the Habitat Incentive Program that contributes to the improvement of thousands of acres across northeast Texas.

“The NETX CDN’s Habitat Incentive Program provides cost share assistance to private landowners for specific habitat practices in high priority landscapes that address limiting factors for priority bird species, including the eastern wild turkey,” said NWTF District Biologist Annie Farrell. “Since its inception in 2017, nearly 12,000 acres have been treated on private lands in northeast Texas through the HIP.”

Habitat work on the most recently completed projects included prescribed fire, chemical treatments of exotic and invasive species, brush management, timber stand improvement and planting beneficial pine and hardwood species.

These habitat enhancement projects across northeast Texas specifically sought to benefit priority bird species including the Eastern wild turkey, northern bobwhite quail, American kestrel, red-cockaded woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, red-headed woodpecker, sedge wren, prairie warbler, Henslow’s sparrow, Le Conte’s sparrow and Bachman’s sparrow.

“Through the Habitat Incentive Program, we are able to improve habitat in the Pineywoods at a landscape scale,” Farrell said. “That is our biggest accomplishment, especially in a state that is primarily privately owned. It wouldn’t be possible without the teamwork from all of our partners.”

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