Skip Navigation

News Release

NRCS Accepting Proposals to Enhance Wildlife, Recreational Opportunities

Jaime Valentín, 787-766-5206 x.121

A family of pintail ducks swims in a private St. Croix salt pond.

San Juan, PR – May 7, 2014 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting proposals for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), a competitive $20 million grant program that gives state and tribal governments opportunities to help owners and managers of private lands to make their lands available for public recreation.

NRCS will make the funds available to state and tribal governments. Recipients can use the grant funding to create new or expand existing public access programs. These programs provide financial incentives or technical assistance, such as rental payments or wildlife habitat planning services, to owners and managers who allow public access.

Applications are due by June 16, 2104 and should be completed online at

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 an important tool to expand access to private lands for hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreation related to wildlife. It’s not just about enhancing wildlife habitat and management, but also about boosting local economies with wildlife-dependent recreation opportunities.”

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;
  • Supplement funding and services from other federal or state agencies, tribes or private resources; and
  • Provide information to the public about the location of public access land.

For more information, view the notice on or the VPA-HIP program website.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).