Washington's 2011 Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
2011 Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
FY2011 Implementation of WHIP in Washington State
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a national program, administered by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). WHIP is a voluntary program for private landowners to develop and improve high quality habitat that supports wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. Under WHIP, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through cost-share agreements to implement habitat restoration and enhancement projects.
Goals and Objectives
In Washington State, WHIP will be used on private or tribal lands where fish and wildlife habitat has been negatively impacted by agricultural or forestry activities or by invasive species. The major objectives of the WHIP in Washington include:
Provide technical assistance to eligible private, state and local governmental landowners and Tribes, for developing and implementing WHIP Plans of Operations (WPO) that include conservation practices authorized for use in WHIP.
Providing payments for projects that benefit upland wildlife habitat, riparian habitat, small wetlands, and threatened and endangered species habitat (including animal and plants).
Educating program participants and the public through wildlife habitat restoration and/or enhancement projects. Completed WHIP projects may be used as demonstration sites, success stories, and discussion points with conservation groups and schools.
Entering into cooperative agreements with partners for implementation of Special Projects or projects that involve multiple eligible landowners.
Utilizing Technical Service Providers to assist with the implementation of WHIP Plans of Operations (WPO).
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in consultation with the State Technical Committee. Through the use of the State Technical Committee the following priorities have been established for the implementation of WHIP in Washington State.
Restoration of native vegetation on:
Primary Habitats selected from the Priority Habitats and Species list of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Secondary Habitats identified by the State Technical Advisory Committee (STAC)
Habitat Improvement for Targeted Wildlife Species:
Federal or State Threatened and Endangered Species and associated critical habitats
Federal or State Candidate Species
Species identified as Priority Habitat Species (PHS) by WDFW
Beneficial insects and pollinators
The informal partnership between NRCS, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and American Indian Tribes provide program participants with a more complete package of technical expertise in:
Identifying priority habitats, potential large scale restoration areas, and species of concern
Developing Wildlife Plans of Operations (WPO)
Designing and implementing wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement activities identified in the WPO
The NRCS has a long history of working with landowners to improve ecological conditions on farms and ranches. Extensive expertise has been developed in evaluating natural resources and developing the appropriate treatment plans to successfully improve or restore fish and wildlife habitat.
The WDFW and USFWS have developed expertise in prioritizing and addressing fish and wildlife needs. The WDFW has identified Priority Habitats and associated Priority Habitat Species within the State of Washington. This information has been used to prioritize those habitats and species that the WHIP will address.
NRCS works closely with existing and new partners to deliver a public information and education program to inform landowners and land managers of the ecological and economic importance of sound wildlife habitat management. Partners will be encouraged to provide onsite technical and financial assistance for restoring and enhancing habitat conditions.
The distribution of financial assistance will be split into separate allocations for each NRCS administrative area. The Central, East and West Areas will each receive an equal allocation of financial assistance funds. If an Area is unable to fully obligate their funding allocation, the un-obligated funds will be redistributed to the other Areas.
Each Area may utilize up to 30% of their allocation, with approval from the State Conservationist, to address special projects.
The application process is a continuous process throughout the year. You may apply for WHIP financial assistance by filing a CPA-1200 form:
Application Ranking and Selection
Annually, NRCS establishes a cutoff date for applications to be evaluated and ranked for current year funding. The cutoff date for Fiscal Year 2011 is January 7, 2011. Any applications received after January 7, 2011 will be held for evaluation for Fiscal Year 2012 funding.
Ranking Criteria Worksheet
WHIP applications in Washington State will be ranked according to the ranking criteria for the location of the land offered for WHIP. The ranking criteria are specific to lands in Eastern, Central and Western Washington for FY 2011.
WHIP Plan of Operations (WPO)
NRCS works with participants to develop a WHIP Plan of Operations, addressing the participant's identified wildlife resource needs. The plan must contain all essential practices needed to meet FOTG Quality Criteria for conservation management systems and NPPH planning policy specifically as it relates to the participant's wildlife resources. Treatment of all natural resources is encouraged.
Conservation Program Contract
Actual cost-shares for practices included in an approved WHIP Conservation Program Contract will be based on the approved WHIP payment schedule in the Field Office Technical Guide. The applicant will be provided a copy of the WPO, practice specifications and designs to follow for implementation of the WHIP Conservation Program Contract.
NRCS Program Liaison
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