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Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program

FarmBillWebpageMockup_VPAHIP

The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) provides funding to help State and tribal governments encourage landowners to allow public access to their land for hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-dependent recreation.

VPA-HIP is a competitive grants program and only State and Tribal Governments may apply. Projects may be up to three years in duration. The maximum amount for a single award is $3 million. Up to 25 percent of the funding for each award may be used to provide incentives to improve wildlife habitat on enrolled public access program lands.

Nothing in VPA-HIP preempts liability laws that may apply to activities on any property related to grants made through this program.

Who Is Eligible

Only state and tribal governments are eligible to apply for VPA-HIP grants.  Private forest, farm, or ranch lands are eligible for assistance under these state grants.

Allowable grant amounts are reduced by 25 percent if the opening dates for migratory bird hunting are not consistent for residents and non-residents. This requirement does not apply to tribal governments.

How to Apply

The 2018 Farm Bill made available $50 million for VPA-HIP. NRCS committed these funds through the competition that closed in November 2019. Landowners interested in applying for public access or wildlife habitat incentives should contact their appropriate State fish and wildlife agency for information.

For Grantees

Information for grantees.

More Information

Inquiries about VPA-HIP can be sent to vpa@usda.gov.

Read the VPA-HIP Fact Sheet. (PDF)