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How to Apply for EQIP & WHIP for Forest Land

Contact your local NRCS office to start the planning and application process. An NRCS conservation professional will help you to apply for the program that fits your situation and determine how best to protect your natural resources.

When should I apply?

You can apply anytime for EQIP and WHIP. Applications are accepted all year long. All applications are reviewed and funded in a competitive ranking process that usually takes place once each year, after the sign-up period ends. Additional sign-up periods may be announced if more funds become available.

The current application cut-off dates are posted on the EQIP and WHIP home pages, or you can call your local NRCS office to ask.

Where can I find the application materials and ranking criteria?

Application materials, payment rates for conservation practices and ranking criteria are on the application materials & documents pages for the EQIP and WHIP programs.

What should I expect when I begin the application process?

You will begin by talking with an NRCS conservation professional. Together, you will discuss your situation. The NRCS professional can also help you complete required paperwork. There are several forms that you will need to fill out to verify that you are eligible to participate in federal conservation programs.

If you have a forest management plan, NRCS will review your plan to make sure that conservation concerns are addressed to NRCS standards. If you do not currently have a forest management plan, you can discuss how to obtain one with an NRCS conservation professional. In addition to NRCS funds, there are also Massachusetts state  programs that may be able to reimburse you for developing a plan.

Once your plan has been reviewed and you are verified as being eligible to participate in federal conservation programs, your application will be ranked in a competitive process that usually takes place once each year.

If your NRCS application is funded, you can proceed with implementing your forest management plan according to the terms of your WHIP or EQIP agreement.

You will be reimbursed for part of the cost of installing conservation practices after each practice is installed.