Our Projects Involve Public and Private Habitat Programs

Management Area Program Projects

PUBLIC Land Management Assistance.

History and Goals

RGS has been involved with grouse and woodcock habitat research and education since the 1960's. A project dedicated in 1985 in northern Wisconsin formally kicked off the Management Area Program (MAP).

This program provides technical and financial assistance to public land management agencies to assist in the management of the lands they control for early successional wildlife, including grouse and woodcock habitat. Economic harvesting of timber is a major consideration of many public forest overseers. Because the benefit to grouse and woodcock is in small-block timber harvesting, and most timber harvesters prefer to harvest in large blocks, the Society assists public land managers in several ways. These include: providing funding to build timber harvest access roads through public forest lands, thereby reducing the costs and promoting small-block cutting; providing technical assistance via professionally trained personnel to help implement small-block cutting; helping to maintain timber access roads in readiness for future cutting by seeding to minimize erosion; and giving financial assistance to shearing alder brush to promote habitat suitable for ruffed grouse and woodcock.

The regional biologists working with local chapter representatives and the state wildlife and forestry agencies are responsible for setting up the projects.

There are currently over 700 projects in 28 states, encompassing more than 520,000 acres. Funding will exceed $4,000,000 from 1985 through 2014. Individual state maps are located in the MAP Maps table below. Individual project details, are available only to logged in and current RGS members via the Reports page.

MAP and Special Project Maps

Google Earth®

RGS has plotted Management Area Program (MAP) projects, starting in 1985, and Drummer Fund projects, starting in 2010, created through fundraising by local chapters on Google Earth®. The mapped projects display the significant role RGS has played in forest management across the nation and the important dedication of members in support of habitat creation for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other forest wildlife. Click to learn more.

State Maps

Individual state maps are located in the MAP Maps table below. Individual project details, are available only to logged in and current RGS members via the Reports page.

The table below presents states where RGS has been active with MAP projects. The individual state maps have each project approximately located with the state project number* and that number is shown in a table with the map showing the number of acres treated.

There is also a report for each state that lists greater detail for each project. Since the reports are available only to RGS members, click Log In (upper right of site) and login on the MEMBERS ONLY page and then click the following link which will take you to a similar page where members can download PDF's of both the older maps and reports:

==> Reports <==


MAP Maps



 REPORTS (see paragraph above)




















UP Map
Lower Map





































* The numbers are shown in red on the maps
to make them stand out, so if you have problems
with red vision, please print the map in black and white instead of color.


PRIVATE lands education through private landowner seminars.

History and Goals

In 1983 RGS received a grant to look at ways of reaching the millions of private forest landowners with wildlife management information. One of the 10 projects that resulted was the Coverts idea developed jointly by the Extension Services in Connecticut and Vermont. This program has expanded to 14 states in the East and Midwest. The states include: ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, NY, PA, MD, W. VA, VA, OH, IN, MI and WI. It has been so well received where it has been implemented that in 1997 it was nominated for, and won, a National Natural Resources & Environmental Management award as a National NREM Flagship for the Cooperative Extension Service. It, along with 3 or 4 others, was judged better than 200 other nominations. Vermont cooperators liked the idea so well they incorporated as Vermont Coverts, Inc. to help run their state's program. A 1998 survey of all participating states determined that 1,770 cooperators had been trained since 1984. These individuals own or manage 1,900,000 acres. They have passed along management information to 110,000 other landowners who own or manage 1,600,000 acres. If you are a forest landowner in any of the currently involved states, or a neighboring state, you may contact the appropriate coordinator below to request an application to be considered for one of the 20-40 openings available each year per state.


Contact Name/Address
Phone / Fax

E-mail & Coverts Website


Jamie Nack
Univ. WI-Madison
Dept. of Forest & Wildlife Ecology
211 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Dr
Madison WI  53706-1598
Link to Website

Thomas Worthley, Asst. Ext. Professor
The Coverts Project
The University of Connecticut
Cooperative Extension System
1066 Saybrook Rd
PO Box 70
Haddam, CT 06438-0070
Phone toll-free 1-888-30WOODS
email: thomas.worthley@uconn.edu
Link to Website

David B. Kittredge
University of MA   For. & Wildlife
PO Box 34210
Amherst MA  01003-4210
Link to Website

Nevin Dawson
University of Maryland Extension
PO Box 169
Queenstown, MD  21658
(410) 827-8056, ext. 125
Link to Website

New Hampshire
Malin E. Clyde
Univ of NH For & Wildl. Res.
214 Nesmith Hall -- 131 Main St
Durham NH  03824-3597
Link to Website

New York
Gary Goff
Cornell Univ. Dept. Nat. Res.
Fernow hall
Ithaca NY  14853-3001
Link to Website

Allyson Brownlee Muth
Penn State Dept of Ecosystem Science and Management
416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
Link to Website

Lisa Sausville, Exec. Director
Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, Inc.
PO Box 81
Middlebury VT  05753
(802) 388-3880
Link to Website


Indiana -- Project inactive
Brian MacGowan
Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue University
PO Box 265
1250 N Franklin Ave Ste 1
Brookville IN  47012
FAX: 765-647-4150
Link to Website

Maine -- Project inactive

Ohio -- Project inactive
Dave Apsley
District Specialist, Natural Resources
OSU Extension South Centers
1864 Shyville Rd
Piketon OH  45661

Virginia -- Project inactive
James A. Parkhurst
VA Tech  Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences
110 Cheatham Hall
Blacksburg VA  24601-0321

West Virginia -- Project inactive
Dave McGill, PhD
Forest Resources Ext. Specialist
WVU, Appalachian Hardwood Ctr.
Percival Hall
PO Box 6125
Morgantown WV  26506-6125
(304)293-2941 Ext 2474



RGS supports a limited number of forest wildlife, primarily grouse and woodcock, habitat research projects through public land management agencies and universities.

One major project dominated the late 1990's and early 2000's: the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project. The culmination of seven years of research between 1996 and 2002 is presented in the report titled: Ruffed Grouse Ecology and Management in the Appalachian Region: Final Project Report of the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project dated August 2004. Cooperators in the study where the state wildlife departments of Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia; MeadWestvaco, the US Forest Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, seven universities, Richard King Mellon Foundation and RGS. Data were collected on 3,118 ruffed grouse captured on 12 study sites in the eight states. Differences between the ecology of Appalachian and northern Great Lakes States ruffed grouse populations are discussed as well as the differences in population ecology between mixed mesophytic cover types and oak-hickory types within the Appalachians.

Click here to download the 10.7MB ACGRP Final Report. The 61 page report is presented in 33 pages within the PDF file. For those with slower connections who want to read only the summary, eight pages including the covers, Table of Contents, and Executive Summary are available in the 0.99MB ACGRP Executive Summary. These files were made available here 2/24/2005.

Click here to download the 1.95MB ACGRP Phase I Summary Report. It was made available here 3/24/2001.

These reports are available as Adobe Acrobat files. You will need to download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader available free from the Adobe website to open and read the files.


General Education

Provide publications to landowners who contact the regional biologist for their region. Provide resources of general interest to private forest landowners via links on this page and throughout the RGS website.

Internet Resources

Various Internet sites provide resources of interest to private forest landowners. Click here to view some of the information available. You can also do searches on your own using various search engines.

Hunting Areas

Please contact the Department of Natural Resources or similar office in the state(s) or areas you plan to hunt.

Season Forecast

RGS biologists provide annual reports after consulting with the state grouse, or small game biologist. These are available here.

Grouse trap and transplant relocation

Perhaps one of the most intriguing programs in which the Society is involved is the introduction/ reintroduction of ruffed grouse. RGS has supported numerous state DNR efforts to re-establish ruffed grouse populations throughout their historic range, in areas where they disappeared due to the loss of habitat. The Society is also helping to establish ruffed grouse in suitable areas where they have not historically occurred.

Aspen seedling sources

General questions concerning planting suggestions to benefit ruffed grouse are referred to the Surface Mine Reclamation publication and two possible sources of planting stock are provided.

Pen-raising grouse

Yes, it can be done BUT it is extremely costly and not recommended and has never been successful as a means of creating new, or enhancing existing, populations. Landowners are encouraged to manage their forests for the appropriately dense, young forests grouse require.

RGS Display

RGS has several tabletop displays available for use by our chapters and members in promoting RGS. Please contact your regional staff members.

Project Listing by State

Individual research and education project details related to the states will be available soon. Please contact RGS for further information on specific states.



Get the free Acrobat Reader to open the PDF files
available above and throughout our site and the Internet.


RGS programs are supported by membership dues, grants and other restricted or unrestricted contributions. Gifts of cash or other valuables, such as appreciated stocks, life insurance policies, land, and bequests are welcome. Talk to your tax advisor and if you need further information, please contact the society by E-mail, phone or letter. Gifts to the society, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible as provided by law. Our EIN is 54-0846925.

Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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