Another encouraging survey result was the number of respondents actively managing their property for wildlife. More than 45% of respondents reported they were already providing specific habitat types. And respondents were most interested in providing habitat for quail, pollinators, and rare or threatened species in the future. Management efforts for these “umbrella species” often trickle down to other wildlife that share similar habitat needs.
Survey respondents also showed a strong interest in learning about beneficial practices like planting native habitat, conducting prescribed burns, and spraying for invasive plants.
“That’s where we come in,” said Kyle Johnson, senior private lands biologist. “We share techniques and tips for improving habitat in our quarterly e-newsletter, ‘Your Side of the Fence.’ And our team regularly schedules free visits with private landowners on their properties to talk about their wildlife goals, develop realistic management plans based on the available resources and needs, and potentially help with some of the habitat improvement costs.
“We know wildlife habitat doesn’t always look the same to landowners and biologists, but our private lands team can help bridge the gap between a property that is ‘cleaned up’ or ‘looks good,’ and one that provides quality habitat for fish and wildlife,” Johnson said. “We can help identify areas that are best left unmowed to maintain nesting or protective cover. We can also identify the native ‘weeds’ and plants that will provide most wildlife the bulk of their food.”
Though the survey has wrapped, the Wildlife Department still welcomes feedback from landowners and other constituents.
“We want to hear from you,” Richardson said. “Especially if you’re interested in creating or maintaining wildlife habitat on your property. Technical assistance is available, and we can help create a management plan or find ways to add wildlife touches to your property.”
Share your thoughts and ask for technical assistance at wildlifedepartment.com