Wildlife needs both old and young forest.

Enough Young Forest and Shrubland in the Right Places

Partners in the Young Forest Initiative include federal and state natural resource agencies, land trusts, conservation organizations, towns and counties, universities, timber products companies, and private landowners.

Partners share knowledge gained from studying how different animals use different habitats. They also make and renew young forest and shrubland – thick, short-lived habitats that many kinds of wildlife need.

Using science-based land management techniques, partners create the right amount of young forest in the right places to ensure healthy populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, and pollinators.

Flagship Species

We focus on making habitat for a select group of “flagship species” – an approach that also supplies key food and cover to many other kinds of wildlife, including both rare and common types, that live in the same places.

When an area, state, or region has enough young trees and native shrubs, landowners use their properties in sound and economically viable ways, working forests thrive, and forest health and diversity get a boost.

landowner consulting with habitat specialist in Massachusetts
Federal and state natural resource agencies can provide landowners with advice and funding to create young forest and shrubland.


The Young Forest Initiative uses a variety of grant programs to protect, restore, and enhance young forest and shrubland to benefit wildlife, people, and northeastern woodlands now and in the future.

Want to Make Some Habitat?

To learn about opportunities to make young forest and shrubland, please refer to the contacts below. Many states have private lands habitat specialists who can provide free advice on potential projects.

Full or partial funding may be available.

State Agencies

Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Pennsylvania Game Commission

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Federal Agencies

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Working Lands for Wildlife Program, and Conservation Stewardship Program

Find your local NRCS service center.