Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

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					                             Wildlife Habitat
                          Incentive Program

                                           WHIP
The Wildlife Habitat
 Incentive Program
    can help you:
                                 W      HIP is a voluntary program that
                                        helps private landowners and
                                   Tribes create, restore and enhance na-
                                    tive wildlife habitats on private land.

• Restore native                      Through WHIP, the USDA’s Natural
  grassland, shrubland                 Resources Conservation Service
  & range                               (NRCS) provides financial and
                                         technical assistance for the
• Protect wetlands &                      development and restoration
  playas                                  of upland, grassland, wetland,
                                           aquatic and other types of wild-
• Improve forest health                    life habitat.

• Plant streamside                        Those who apply and are se-
  vegetation                               lected for the program receive
                                           a set payment rate to offset
• Control invasive                         the cost of approved practices.
  plants                                   Fiscal Year 2010 WHIP payment
                                          rates can be found on the New
• Provide food & cover                    Mexico NRCS Web site at: www.
  for native wildlife                     nm.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/
                                          whip or at your local NRCS of-
                                         fice. In New Mexico, WHIP funds
                                         such practices as:
                                            • Brush management,
                                            • Wildlife watering facilities,
                                            • Ponds,
                                            • Riparian restoration,
                                            • Wetland enhancement,
                                            • And more.
www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov
                                  Through WHIP, NRCS may also provide
HELPING PEOPLE                  or cover the cost of professional technical
                              services to design practices. This includes:
HELPTHE LAND                                • On-site assessments,
     NRCS NEW MEXICO
                                            • Site-specific practice and
                                               management plans, and
                                            • Engineering designs.
Historically Underserved Clients          The 2008 Farm Bill has changed the         In most cases, WHIP payments are
WHIP provides a higher payment            eligibility requirements of WHIP, and      made after practices have been com-
rate to agricultural producers (indi-     non-agricultural, as well as state,        pleted. WHIP payments to a person or
viduals, joint operations or entities)    county, and local government-owned         legal entity are limited to $50,000 per
who qualify as a Beginning Farmer-        lands are not eligible for WHIP.           year.
Rancher, a Socially Disadvantaged
Farmer-Rancher, or Limited Resource       When and How to Apply                      Those enrolled in WHIP agree to grant
Farmer-Rancher. For more informa-         WHIP applications may be submitted         to NRCS access to the land for appli-
tion, contact your NRCS office or go      at any time at the local USDA Service      cation, assessment and monitoring
to:    www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/        Center.                                    purposes.
SLB_Farmer.
                                          In addition to submitting application      More Information
Land Eligibility                          materials, you will also work with         Contact NRCS to learn more about
Lands eligible for WHIP are:              NRCS to identify and plan the conser-      how WHIP can help you protect and
• Private agricultural lands,             vation measures you want on your           improve your working lands. More
   including cropland, grassland,         land. This information is recorded in      information can be found at your lo-
   rangeland, pasture and adjacent        a conservation plan, called a WHIP         cal USDA Service Center listed in the
   areas, such as pivot corners and       Plan of Operations, which includes a       telephone book under Federal gov-
   streamside areas;                      detailed description of your selected      ernment agencies.
• Non-industrial private forest           practices. Those who have previously
   land including rural land that has     developed a conservation plan with         Or, visit the NRCS Web site at:
   existing tree cover or is suitable     NRCS may already have the conserva-
   for growing trees; and                 tion planning step completed.                      www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov
• Tribal lands.
                                          Program Participation
Applicant Eligibility                     Each year, NRCS announces a cutoff
The applicant may be an individual        date when applications are ranked
or an entity that owns or manages         and selected for funding.
the land. An eligible applicant will be
either a producer engaged in agri-        After an application is selected for
cultural production or a private non-     funding, the applicant enters into a
industrial forest landowner.              WHIP contract with USDA for one to
                                          ten years, depending on the practices
In addition, eligible applicants will:    to be implemented. The contract is
  • Have control of the land during       based on practices outlined in the
    the length of the contract;           WHIP Plan of Operations and will
  • Meet Adjusted Gross Income            specify a period of time, one or more        The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
                                                                                       prohibits discrimination in all its programs
    (AGI) criteria;                       years, during which activities must          and activities on the basis of race, color,
  • Be in compliance with:                be completed. These activities may           national origin, age, disability, and where
                                                                                       applicable, sex, marital status, familial sta-
      The highly erodible land           include practice installation as well as     tus, parental status, religion, sexual orien-
                                                                                       tation, genetic information, political beliefs,
       & wetland conservation             operational and maintenance activi-          reprisal, or because all or a part of an in-
       provisions of the 1985 Food        ties.                                        dividual’s income is derived from any pub-
                                                                                       lic assistance program. (Not all prohibited
       Security Act, and                                                               bases apply to all programs.) Persons with
                                                                                       disabilities who require alternative means
      Any other USDA conserva-           Program participants are expected to         for communication of program informa-
       tion programs in which the         maintain any WHIP practice through-          tion (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.)
                                                                                       should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at
       applicant is enrolled; and         out its useful life, even after the con-     (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a
                                                                                       complaint of discrimination write to USDA,
  • Meet any other program require-       tract is completed.                          Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Inde-
    ments.                                                                             pendence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
                                                                                       20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice)
                                                                                       or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal
                                                                                       opportunity provider and employer.

                                                                                       USDA NRCS New Mexico                 12/2009