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USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. Landowners may apply for WHIP at any time. However, applications received by Nov. 15 will be evaluated and considered for the 2012 program year. Applications received after that date will be held until the next evaluation period.
WHIP provides land users an opportunity to improve wildlife habitat. The program provides financial incentives for installing eligible practices on land they own or control. The land user must devote at least 10 acres to eligible wildlife practices.
In Kentucky, the primary focus of WHIP is to improve early successional and forestland habitats for declining species and other wildlife. Restoring remnant prairies, planting native grasses, shrubs and trees are some of the eligible practices for the program. Other eligible practices include implementing forest stand improvements and creating shallow water areas. Excluding livestock from sensitive streams and woodlands is also an important focus under Kentuckys 2012 WHIP. Since WHIP focuses on improvement to wildlife cover, food plots are not eligible under the program.
WHIP applications are evaluated and ranked to determine which applications provide the most beneficial habitats. For more information about the program, contact Billy Finkbeiner, NRCS District Conservationist at 765-2273 or 358-3132.