SPOKANE, Wash. - Washington landowners interested in developing or improving wildlife habitat have until January 6, 2012 to apply for financial assistance through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today.
WHIP is a national program administered by the NRCS that provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and tribes for developing, restoring and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. Landowners receive technical and financial assistance through two- to ten-year contracts.
According to NRCS Acting Asst. State Conservationist, Lacey Gaw, WHIP program funds in Washington will be used on agricultural land and forest land where fish and wildlife habitat has been adversely affected by past activities or management.
“The objectives of the program include providing technical assistance and payments to eligible private landowners and tribes to implement conservation practices that enhance or restore wildlife habitat.” Gaw said. “Projects that provide habitat improvements for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species, including nativepollinators, will be considered for funding,” she said.
Previous WHIP habitat improvement activities in Washington have included enhancement or restoration of shrub-steppe, native prairie, riparian, wetland, and native pollinator habitats.
Gaw encourages landowners who are interested in the program to contact their local NRCS office. While there is a continuous sign-up for the program, applications received by January 6 will be ranked and prioritized and considered for 2012 funding. For the location of your local NRCS office, visit the NRCS website at www.wa.nrcs.usda.gov or call 509-323-2900.