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Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program - NRCS


The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) provides State and tribal governments with funding to expand or improve habitat in existing public access programs.

2019 VPA Funding

On September 26, NRCS posted to the 2019 VPA-HIP funding announcement. Access the full VPA-HIP funding announcement   and read the VPA-HIP press release.


State and tribal governments may submit proposals for VPA-HIP block grants from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). State agencies and tribes then provide funding to participating private landowners through new or expanded public access programs that enhance public access to private lands for wildlife-dependent recreation.  VPA-HIP funding can also be used to improve publicly accessible wildlife habitat on private lands.

Nothing in VPA-HIP preempts liability laws that may apply to activities on any property related to grants made in 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 authorizes $50 million for VPA-HIP.  Applications for VPA-HIP are submitted through Access the latest VPA-HIP funding announcement, which is open from September 26, 2019 through November 27, 2019.

Webinar for Applicants

A webinar for applicants was held for October 10, 2019. Click here to view the webinar recording.

Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

More Information

Inquiries about VPA-HIP can be sent to Find your local USDA Service Center.

Read the VPA-HIP Fact Sheet. (PDF)

2014 VPA-HIP Projection Selection

2015 VPA-HIP Project Selection