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Northern Plains Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

Background Information


The North Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) received an additional allocation of funding to help producers accelerate the implementation of conservation practices to enhance wetland wildlife habitats on the state's working lands.

These funds will help producers to the north and east of the Missouri River utilize working lands conservation programs and assist in managing wetlands and farmlands in an economical manner while protecting and enhancing habitats for wildlife populations. Three resource objectives will be addressed through this new round of funding:

  • Restore working land based management to wetlands;
  • Manage farmed wetlands by preparing a management system to minimize impacts on wildlife and water quality; and
  • Keep intact wetlands in their current condition


Conservation Programs

Funding will be disbursed through two previously established NRCS programs: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).


Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible agricultural producers to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, and related resources on agricultural lands.

EQIP provides financial assistance payments to producers based on a portion of the average cost associated with the practice implementation.


Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

Similar to EQIP, WHIP is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural lands. NRCS administers WHIP to provide both technical and financial assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.


Program Funding

Over $3 million in financial and technical assistance will be available to help eligible landowners accelerate the implementation of conservation practices intended to enhance wetland wildlife habitat on working lands in counties to the north and east of the Missouri River. Through that allocation, $1.2 million will be available in FY 2011 for EQIP and $600,000 will be available for WHIP.


Sign-Up and Application Information

NRCS accepts EQIP applications on a continuous basis. Please visit your local NRCS service center for more information or to complete an application.

The following documents may require Adobe Reader.

EQIP Ranking Sheet (PDF; 36 KB)
WHIP Ranking Sheet  (PDF; 32 KB)
EQIP Ranking Instructions (PDF; 30 KB)
WHIP Ranking Instructions  (PDF; 30 KB)
Screening Tool  (PDF; 78 KB)
Wetland Wildlife Habitat Brochure (PDF; 223 KB)
Wetland Wildlife Habitat Scenario Sheet  (PDF; 78 KB)
Duck Pair Map  (PDF; 482 KB)
Prevent Plant Map  (PDF; 157 KB)
News Release: NRCS Announces Signup for Wetland Wildlife Habitat Funding (July 7, 2011)


Program Contact

Jennifer C. Heglund
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)
Phone: 701-530-2095
Email: jennifer.heglund@nd.usda.gov