USDA Program Prioritizes Habitat Enhancement

USDA Program Prioritizes Habitat Enhancement

lesser prairie chicken
Farm Bill programs such as WHIP provide important resources so farmers and private landowners can conserve key fish and wildlife habitat for species like the lesser prairie chicken. Photo courtesy of USDA.gov/Marcus Miller.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

WASHINGTON –-(Ammoland.com)- Farm Bill programs such as WHIP provide important resources so farmers and private landowners can conserve key fish and wildlife habitat for species like the lesser prairie chicken.

Sportsmen are celebrating a victory with the announcement of new federal measures in support of private-lands conservation. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a final rule for the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program that adds a new national priority to restore and enhance wildlife habitat – much of which is important to game species.

The new WHIP national priority is “to protect, restore, develop or enhance important migration and other movement corridors for wildlife.”

This new focus complements the four existing national WHIP priorities that focus on activities benefitting native fish and wildlife habitats, conservation of at-risk species, protection of declining or important aquatic wildlife and reducing the impacts of invasive species on fish and wildlife habitat.

Authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, WHIP is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop and improve fish and wildlife habitat on agricultural and private land. Since its establishment in 1997, the program has resulted in habitat improvements on approximately 6.5 million acres nationwide. The program provides cost-share funding to farmers, ranchers and private landowners for projects ranging from removing barriers to fish migration in New England to establishing native warm-season grasses in the Southeast.

The TRCP long has advocated for increased measures to conserve fish and wildlife habitat and hunter access in the Farm Bill and is pleased to see the USDA highlighting programs that improve fish and wildlife habitat, sustain our waters and conserve energy.

Sincerely,
Alice Tripp
Texas State Rifle Association

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