Funding Available for Public Access and Wildlife Habitat
Palmer, May15 –USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has $20 million available nationwide for tribal and state governments to enhance public access and wildlife habitat on private and corporate lands. Tribal and state governments can apply for up to $2 million per each grant. Applications are due by June 16 and should be completed at Grants.gov.
“Private lands provide diverse and healthy habitats, which are home to most of our nation’s wildlife,” NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. “Through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, states and tribal governments have funding to expand access to, and habitat in, private lands for hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreation related to wildlife. It’s not just aboutenhancing wildlife habitat and management, but also about boosting local economies and wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities.”
Applicants must describe how they will provide financial incentives or technical assistance, such as rental payments or wildlife habitat planning services, to land owners and managers who allow public access.
Recipients can use the grant funding to create new or expand existing public access programs and enhance wildlife habitat. Funding priority will be given to applications that propose to:
Maximize private lands acreage available to the public;
Ensure that land enrolled in the program has appropriate wildlife habitat;
Strengthen wildlife habitat improvement efforts;
Provide information to the public about the location of public access land; and
Supplement funding and services from other federal or state agencies, tribes or private resources.
Examples of wildlife habitat improvements in Alaska include:
Improving fish passage
Enhancing moose or deer browse
Protecting migratory bird nesting grounds
For more information, view the notice on Grants.gov, (www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=VPA-HIP)and the program’s website(http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/releases/?cid=stelprdb1242739).