Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program
This page was updated on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program
The purpose of the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is to help participants develop fish and wildlife habitat on private agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land and Indian land. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop or enhance upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property.
Tennessee Wildlife Habitat Objectives
to increase the habitat and populations of early successional and upland wildlife species
to establish/enhance habitats critical for:
stream and fisheries, and
declining, rare, threatened or endangered species
to control invasive species which decrease the quality, quantity, and diversity of early successional, upland, and wetland wildlife habitat and fisheries habitat
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program Application Deadline Set for June 10, 2013
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Tennessee has been allocated over $1.25 million dollars for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). Owners and operators of agricultural land and (non-industrial) private forestland who are interested in applying for WHIP should apply on or before Monday, June 10, 2013, which is the sign-up cutoff date for funding consideration. Applications are received year round but cutoff dates are set to rank applications for funding.
In WHIP, conservationists help landowners develop a conservation plan that preserves wildlife habitat. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and operators to develop or enhance upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property. Eligible producers with a conservation plan for their operation receive priority for financial assistance. Only projects that are “ready to implement” will be ranked for funding. NRCS offers conservation programs for a variety of conservation needs. Along with wildlife, other resource concerns to be addressed include limiting livestock access to streams, grazing distribution, wetland restoration and protection, and erosion control. For additional information, producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS Service Center. Service center locations and more information on the programs can be found at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov.
To view the following documents in Adobe Acrobat format, click here for a free reader.
FY 2013 General WHIP Program Description Documents
Some of the following documents require the Adobe Acrobat
FY 2013 General WHIP Requirement Sheets
FY 2013 General WHIP Ranking Tools
The following documents may require Adobe Acrobat
, orMicrosoft Excel
format where noted:
Aquatic At Risk Species Habitat Conservation Ranking Tool (PDF; 39 KB)
Area 1 Inadequate Cover, Shelter, Food, or Water Ranking Tool (PDF; 39 KB)
Area 2 Inadequate Cover, Shelter, Food, or Water Ranking Tool (PDF; 40 KB)
Area 3 Inadequate Cover, Shelter, Food, or Water Ranking Tool (PDF; 40 KB)
Area 4 Inadequate Cover, Shelter, Food, or Water Ranking Tool (PDF; 45 KB)
Shortleaf Pine Initiative Ranking Tool (PDF; 25 KB)
Shortleaf Pine Initiative Practices (PDF; 46 KB)
Shortleaf Pine Initiative - Historic Range Map
FY 2013 WHIP Working Lands for Wildlife - Golden Winged Warbler
The Departments of Agriculture and Interior announced a new partnership to use innovative approaches with farmers and forest landowners to restore and protect the habitats for specific wildlife species. Working Lands for Wildlife focuses conservation dollars and wildlife expertise on the recovery of certain at-risk, threatened or endangered wildlife species while also helping other vulnerable and game species that depend on similar habitat.
The golden winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is the species of concern for parts of five Tennessee counties including: Anderson, Campell, Carter, Morgan and Scott. The vast forested lands, grasslands, and forb-rich landscape of the Appalachian Mountains was once considered a population stronghold for the golden winged warbler. Today, however, the population is at-risk for listing under the endangered Species Act.
The most common explanations of population declines point to the loss and degradation of early successional habitat. Golden-winged warblers and many other species, like ruffed grouse or woodcock, depend upon shrubby, idle vegetated areas like forest clear-cuts, alder swamps, utility rights-of way and other similar habitats for breeding. Several factors have contributed to the decline of these habitats including direct losses to development, re-forestation of farmland, fire suppression, and changes in agricultural and forestry practices.
The Appalachian region offers a tremendous opportunity to improve habitat for golden-winged warbler and other neotropical migratory birds. Providing structurally diverse vegetation for breeding and foraging offers a great opportunity to combat declines in golden winged warblers and other early successional species.
Working Lands for Wildlife will assist private land owners in the creation and maintenance of habitat necessary to sustain breeding populations of golden-winged warblers in their current range. It focuses on the creation, management and maintenance of early successional habitat in close association with forested landscapes, or adjacent to active agriculture or pastureland.
Interested producers and landowners in targeted areas can enroll in theWildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) on a continuous basis at their localNRCS field office.
Click on either of the images below for a bigger map.
State Program Contact:
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
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