We used a six-step process to set habitat objectives and population goals for breeding birds in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Specifically, we used existing empirical studies and mathematically derived viable population estimates to define habitat objectives and population goals for bottomland hardwood forest, the most important habitat type in this physiographic area. Although habitat objectives must address both quality and quantity, we concentrate here on the size and number of forest patches in this highly fragmented landscape. To support source populations of all forest breeding birds we recommend the protection/restoration of 52 forest patches that are 4,000-8,000 ha in size, 36 patches of 8,000-40,000 ha, and 13 patches greater than 40,000 ha. Although every physiographic area is unique, the methodology applied here should be applicable in other situations.