Wildlife Habitat Management
to the Ecological Sciences Division's Wildlife Management. Wildlife is one
of America's most treasured natural resources. Nearly 80 percent of this
Nation's wildlife habitat is interspersed over privately owned landscapes. For
over 60 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly the Soil
Conservation Service) has worked through 3,000 soil and water conservation
districts and other partners to assist landowners and managers with natural
resource problems and opportunities, including those associated with wildlife
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) looks forward to its major
role in wildlife habitat planning and management on private lands in America. As
part of that effort this web site will provide access to documentation that
outlines NRCS policy regarding wildlife management, as well as links to related
organizations that can provide additional information.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
The WRP is designed to restore and protect wetlands on private property. It is
an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to enhance
wetlands in exchange for retiring marginal agricultural land. WRP also serves to
provide fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality, protect biological
diversity and provide recreational opportunities.
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program
The WHIP is for landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat
primarily on private lands. Plans are developed in consultation with the local
conservation district and provide both technical and financial assistance to
establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.
The CRP offers annual rental payments, incentive payments for certain
activities, and cost-share assistance to establish approved ground cover on
eligible cropland. Designed to reduce erosion on sensitive lands, CRP also
improves soil and water, and provides significant wildlife habitat. Applications
are for 10- and 15-year contracts.
Farmland Protection Program (FPP)
The Farmland Protection Program is a voluntary program that helps farmers keep
their land in agriculture. The program provides funding to State, local, or
tribal entities with existing farmland protection programs to purchase
conservation easements or other interests.
NRCS is exclusive in completing the NRI on a continual basis to monitor the
trends and conditions of the soil, water, and natural resources on private lands
throughout the states. Based on this critical information, decision makers and
planners can set program priorities and target efforts where the needs are
NRCS provides assistance to land users for developing and implementing
conservation plans on their lands. Each farmers' unique circumstances and needs
are carefully considered, and soil types and other resources are evaluated
before making conservation recommendations. Conservation practices such as
fencing to apply intensive grazing practices, or no-till planting directly into
the previous crop residue bed are planned and applied to reduce soil erosion,
promote soil moisture retention and improve water quality and soil health. NRCS
also works with landowners to develop and implement animal waste and nutrient
management plans. These plans provide for wet and dry storage systems as well as
the efficient management and use of those nutrients as fertilizer on the land.
NRCS works with producers during planning to consider the overall impact on the
land and the other plants, animals, and wildlife who live there, as well as
economic factors and the sustained use and productivity of the resources.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The EQIP, established by the 1996 Farm Bill, is one of the several voluntary
conservation programs which are part of the USDA "Conservation Toolbox." EQIP
offers financial, educational, and technical help to install or implement
structural, vegetative, and management practices. Through the locally led
process, EQIP works primarily in priority areas identified by conservation
district-led local work groups involving local community members, state and
federal agencies, and others.
and comments are welcome and encouraged. Please address all correspondence to
Kevin Luebke, Biologist,
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