WHIP Success Stories
WHIP provides cover, food for wildlife
Proper management allows timber cutting, cattle grazing without depleting resources
From urban sprawl to clear cutting, habitat destruction is having an adverse impact on wildlife throughout the country.
One NRCS program is looking to turn that around and provide adequate habitat for wildlife - the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.
Charles Daniel, who owns 1,000 acres in Searcy County, enrolled his land in WHIP and is providing cover and food sources for the numerous types of wildlife on his property.
“By effectively managing this land, I can cut timber and graze cattle without destroying the habitat important to wildlife,” Daniel said. “With proper planning, I can cut and replant several acres of trees a year and without having a negative impact on the land.”
Daniel’s conservation plan, developed by the Marshall NRCS office, calls for clearing trees, stumps and other vegetation to create 38.5 acres of new openings.
“We are planting 29.75 acres of the openings for wildlife food plots and leaving the other 8.75 for natural re-vegetation in weeds and brush,” said Rick Reed, soil conservation technician. “The planting includes red and white clover, orchard grass, lespedeza, big bluestem and switchgrass.
“Once the plots are established, bushhogging in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 will help the areas thrive. The bushhogging will be in late winter or early spring after wildlife have eaten all they want of the forage present,” Reed said.
The plan also calls for maintaining the existing cover of trees, forbs and grasses.
“By regulating grazing, I can maintain sufficient cover to prevent erosion and allow regeneration of hardwoods and native vegetation. This cover provides perfect habitat for deer, turkey, quail, squirrel and other wildlife,” Daniel said.