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Programs Available to Landowners for Improving Wildlife Habitat

John Erixson, Northwest Management, Inc.

Your privately held forest and agricultural lands provide a significant portion of the habitat available for wildlife in your area. Management of your property affects the species and quantity of wildlife that uses the property. If you are so inclined, activities can be directed at improving the habitat for wildlife use and increasing the numbers of species found on your property.

Several government agencies and private groups provide funding or cost share monies for the improvement of the habitat for a particular species or for wildlife in general. Each of the programs may provide technical or financial assistance and they are voluntary on your part. The following few paragraphs will attempt to highlight some of the major programs available for offsetting the cost associated with improving wildlife habitat.

One of the older programs that has previously been discussed in this newsletter is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which has a goal to establish long-term vegetation on highly erodible land to improve soil and water. Annual payments are made and up to 50% of the cost of establishing permanent vegetation is shared by the agency. Properties that are usually considered for this program include cropland, crop wetlands, and pasture lands.

Other programs include:

  • Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)
  • Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)
  • Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)
  • Habitat Improvement Program (HIP)
  • Idaho Riparian Tax Credit (RTC)
  • Resource Conservation and Rangeland Development Program (RCRDP)

Partners for Wildlife is a program to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. The program is most interested in restoration of the riparian areas, wetlands, and native plants. A 10 to 20 year contract is required to qualify for the up to 50% cost of restoration. This program is offered through the USDI Fish and Wildlife service.

Pheasants Forever is a non-profit conservation group interested in restoring pheasant habitat. The group provides up to 100% of the cost of establishment and maintenance of wildlife habitat. Funding is available from the local chapters of Pheasants Forever. Some other conservation groups similar to Pheasants Forever include the Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Trout Unlimited, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Each program provides monies or assistance based on the particular interest of the funding organization. We hope this information is helpful to you as landowners. If you would like additional information on these programs or others please feel free to call us.

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