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Maryland Partners to Create Delmarva Woodland Stewards Program

Initiative Funded to Promote Wildlife and Fire Protection, Wood Markets

Photo of tree seedlings being grown

Seedlings growing at the John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service has awarded funding of $280,852 to the Maryland Forest Service to work with the University of Maryland Extension and many public and private partners across the Delmarva Peninsula to establish a new training and outreach program, the Delmarva Woodland Stewards. 

Funding from the federal Landscape Scale Restoration Grant program will be used by the partnership to demonstrate, educate, and provide outreach that will enhance forest and wildlife management practices, promote the ecological benefits of prescribed fire, pursue tree planting opportunities for water quality, and highlight the need for low grade/biomass markets in forest health, restoration, and sustainability. 

Thinning the forest provides material for biomass and pulp markets while improving the health of the forest and improving the wildlife habitat for species such as the bobwhite quail, Delmarva fox squirrel, and woodcock.

“We are excited to use this collaborative forest restoration funding to build pathways for better wildlife habitat, water quality, and local jobs for our Delmarva landowners,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said.

This grant creates the Delmarva Woodland Stewards Program and provides direct training and outreach to landowners and volunteers who want to learn more about how to implement forest and wildlife management practices.

The project reaches across state lines to Delaware and Virginia, and coordinates expertise from wildlife, forestry, and ecology to better inform landowners interested in managing wildlife on their woodlands. 

Anyone interested in the Delmarva Woodland Stewards program should contact Matthew Hurd of the Maryland Forest Service at