Conservation Plans and Agreements

Safe Harbor Agreement

Data Definitions

Martin Branch Woodland Tract (Lambert) SHA
USFWS Region(s)
USFWS Field Office(s)
Jackson Ecological Services Field Office
NEPA Process
categorical exclusion
Involved Agency
  • Date Information
  • Date Assistance Initiated
    Date Application Received
    No info
    Date of Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS
    Date Noticed in Federal Register
    Date Permit Issued
    Date Application Withdrawn
    Date Permit Expired
    Date Permit Denied
    Date Permit Suspended
    Date Permit Revoked
  • Area Description Information
  • Location
    the Martin Branch Woodland property is approximately 754 acres and includes portions of sections 29, 30, 31 and 32, Township 6 North, Range 15 West. It is located about 2 miles southeast of Sumrall, Mississippi.
    Listed Species
  • Tortoise, gopher - (Gopherus polyphemus) West of Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers T
  • Woodpecker, red-cockaded - (Picoides borealis) Entire E
  • Non-Listed Species
    No non-listed species
    The Martin Branch Woodland currently consists of about 754 acres of pine and mixed pine-hardwood forests in rural Covington County, Mississippi. About 500 acres of this forest will be managed to benefit either the gopher tortoise or RCW. The Applicant manages the forest for mixed purposes, including income from timber production, wildlife, aesthetics, natural values, and recreation. Management to enhance habitat will decrease the frequency of timber harvests in some areas, and control the unnatural encroachment of hardwoods and shrubs in the pine forest understory. Such management uses normal silvicultural methods widely employed by foresters and landowners.
  • Mississippi
  • Size (Total Area Covered, by State)
  • 754 acres (Mississippi)
  • Enrolled Size (Total Area Enrolled, by State)
    Data not available
    Encompassed Planning Area? (by state)
  • No
  • Acreage Protected
    57 acres
    Acreage Created/Enhanced/Restored
    500 acres
  • Other Information
  • Applicant Type
    private individual
    Land Use
    forest management activities
    20 years, 0 months
    Reporting Frequency
    Report Received Date(s)
    Environmental Defense helped developed SHA.
    FWS Contact
    Will McDearman, Jackson ES Field Office. 601/321-1124
    WO Copy of Agreement
    Monitoring Notes
    Annual meeting monitoring reports required.
    Additional Notes
    The baseline for the gopher tortoise was determined by visual observations of burrows, habitat availability, and an assessment of habitat utilization based upon the current scientific knowledge of the species. Within the Landowner�s property, the baseline for the gopher tortoise is 57.3 acres of suitable habitat. The baseline for the RCW was also determined by visual observation and available habitat; no RCW or RCW suitable habitat are found within the Landowner�s property. The baseline for RCWs is zero. To benefit the gopher tortoise, the Applicant will manage pine forests to create open, sunny conditions for basking and egg incubation and to stimulate growth of a well developed herbaceous plant layer for forage. These conditions will be created by thinning timber and prescribing frequent fire to control encroachment by fire intolerant shrubs and hardwoods in habitat occupied by the tortoise as well as in unoccupied habitat. The forest will be maintained in an open condition by limiting the tree stocking so as not to exceed 70 square feet of basal area per acre. Also, the Applicant will restore longleaf pine by natural and artificial regeneration in existing timber stands. Except possibly in abandoned agricultural fields, mechanical site preparation will not be used to regenerate or reforest longleaf pine. Habitat enhancement and restoration will occur in habitat currently occupied by the gopher tortoise as well as in unoccupied habitat on the property. Collectively, about 480 acres of gopher tortoise habitat will be restored, enhanced, and maintained. To benefit the RCW, the Applicant will implement management guidelines described in the Services� RCW recovery plan according to the management for RCW stability on private lands (Appendix 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2003). Such management will create open pine forests, similar to those established for the gopher tortoise. By these standards, the Applicant will designate and manage a 10-acre cavity cluster area by growing and retaining potential RCW cavity trees of a suitable size and age. Also, a sufficient number of pine trees 10" dbh or greater will be retained and stocked on 75 or more acres to provide at least 3,000 square feet of basal area. By deferring timber harvests and managing habitat elsewhere on the property by converting short-rotation loblolly pine plantations to long rotation longleaf pine stands, additional suitable foraging habitat will be generated during the Agreement.
    Plan/Agreement Documents
    Biological Opinion
    NEPA - Cat Ex
    Set of Findings
    The SHA
    Final Documents
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    Federal Register Documents
    No info

    Report generated on: February 11, 2016
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