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Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

Visit the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) web page.

WHIP is a new program that offers cost-share incentives to landowners to voluntarily develop and improve wildlife habitat on private lands. Participants work with their local conservation district and the NRCS to develop a wildlife habitat development plan and contract. The plan describes the landowner's goals for improving wildlife habitat, includes a list of practices and a schedule for installing them, and specifies the steps necessary to maintain the new habitat for the life of the agreement.


Key Provisions:

  • Local Work Groups submit proposals for state WHIP plan. 

  • Creates a State Technical Committee to help set priorities for cost-share measures and habitat development projects.

  • Provides cost-sharing up to $10,000 per contract for developing upland wildlife, wetland wildlife, endangered species, fisheries, and other wildlife.

  • Ranks applications using a numerical points system designed to identify and select proposals that offer the greatest benefits to wildlife and related natural resources per program dollar.

  • Agreements must last a minimum of 10 years from the date of installation of the conservation practice.



  • Participants must own or control the land (there is no minimum acreage).

  • Land may not be currently enrolled in the Waterbank Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, or other similar program.

  • Lands used for mitigation can be included in WHIP contracts but are ineligible for cost-share funds.

  • Land is ineligible if it is owned by the Federal Government or if USDA determines that onsite or offsite conditions would undermine or reduce the benefits of habitat development.


How to Apply: 

WHIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis. For further information or to obtain an application form, contact your local                                         or 



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