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News Release

USDA Awards Funding to Increase Fishing and Boating Opportunities in Pennsylvania

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced the award of nearly $670,000 to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to help provide more opportunities for fishing and boating.

“This project will yield numerous conservation benefits while supporting recreation and economic development on private lands in Pennsylvania,” said NRCS State Conservationist Denise Coleman.

Funding through the USDA’s Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), will allow the PA Fish and Boat Commission to expand its existing Public Fishing Access and Conservation Easement program to provide more opportunities for fishing and boating by involving more private landowners in the program. This program, begun in 2006, utilizes public fishing access and conservation easements with private landowners to provide a perpetual riparian buffer conservation easement on the property which includes public fishing and boating access along the waterbody. The public fishing access and conservation easement allows the Commission the right to make habitat improvements within the easement area. The goal of the Public Fishing Access and Conservation Easement Program is to ensure quality public fishing access in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In FY 2020, USDA awarded almost $49 million to 27 recipients in 27 states through VPA-HIP. VPA-HIP is open to state and tribal governments to establish or expand public access programs. Projects last up to three years, and the maximum amount for a single award is $3 million.

Click here to learn more about the VPA-HIP program and this year’s recipients.