The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana is accepting applications from landowners interested in establishing wildlife habitat through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP). The former Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) has been folded into the EQIP and funds will be available to target eligible applications containing a core set of wildlife habitat development practices.
State Conservationist Jane Hardisty encourages landowners to think about introducing or improving wildlife habitat on their land. “The benefits of these habitats reach well beyond their boundaries,” said Hardisty. “Not only do these habitats provide ample food and shelter for wildlife but they also help filter and cleanse water; prevent flooding in local communities by holding water; and improve soil profiles.”
Anyone interested in these voluntary programs should contact their local NRCS office. The previously announced EQIP application deadline of May 16, 2014 will also apply for applications that target wildlife habitat. Applications received by this deadline will be evaluated and considered for funding in this fiscal year. Applications received after this deadline will be considered in future rounds of funding.
EQIP is a key program to improve soil health and address soil erosion, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and other resource concerns on cropland, forestland, pastureland, and livestock areas. Although the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program is now rolled into EQIP, the core mission and focus of these programs enables increased opportunities to address wildlife habitat resource concerns through EQIP.
For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program visit our webpage: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/programs/financial/eqip/. To locate the NRCS office nearest you go to www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/field_offices.html