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Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program Information

*Note: Under the new 2014 Farm Bill, WHIP is now part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program Information

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives program (WHIP) is a voluntary conservation program to develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private land.  Through WHIP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to help protect, restore, develop, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

 The landowner or operator agrees to prepare and implement a wildlife habitat development plan.  The plan will describe the goals for improving wildlife habitat and become the basis for the cost-share agreement.  The agreement will include a list of practices, the installation schedule, and will last from one year after the final conservation practice is implemented not to exceed ten years. 

2014 WHIP Program in South Dakota

Application Deadline

WHIP applications are accepted throughout the year at your local USDA Service Center


In order to be eligible for WHIP, the applicant and the land must be determined eligible.  If the applicant fails to meet eligibility requirements by the cut-off date for current funding consideration in the current fiscal year, the application will be determined “Ineligible”.  Eligible land is agricultural and nonindustrial private forestland.  Publically owned land is ineligible.

Ranking Worksheets

All applications are ranked by the NRCS staff using the applicable web-based ranking tool.  The questions within each tool will evaluate each application and will award higher priority to applications that use cost-effective conservation practices, address local priorities, and provide the most environmental benefit.

Additional Information

Program Contact

Jeff VanderWilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, 605-352-1226
Jennifer Wurtz, Resource Conservationist, (605) 352-1225