Landowner Incentive Program now accepting pre-proposals for Driftless Area private lands...

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. By Central Office September 9, 2015

    Contact(s): Dawn Hinebaugh, DNR Landowner Incentive Program Coordinator, 608-266-5243; Darcy Kind, Private Lands Biologist, 608-267-9789

    MADISON - Private landowners, conservation organizations and others seeking to create and manage habitat for rare plants and animals in the Driftless Area can now apply for funding and technical help through the Landowner Incentive Program.

    The Wisconsin Department of Natural Rersources recently received a $164,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's competitive State Wildlife Grants program to help fund the Landowner Incentive Program.

    Since the first grants were awarded to private landowners in 2006, the Landowner Incentive Program has helped improve nearly 5,000 acres of habitat for more than 240 at-risk species, ranging from blue-winged warblers, bullsnakes and pickerel frogs to Hill's thistle, Indian paint brush and the federally endangered Eastern Prairie Fringed orchid. The department is now accepting pre-proposals from landowners who have not previously received LIP funding. Eligible work under the program may include, but is not limited to, prescribed burns, planting native vegetation and invasive and woody species removal.

    "We're very pleased to be able to offer property owners technical and financial help to benefit rare and declining plant and animal species in the Driftless area," said Dawn Hinebaugh, DNR Landowner Incentive Program coordinator.

    Two-step process to apply for Landowner Incentive Program

    Applying for Landowner Incentive Program funding is a two-step process. First, applicants must submit a pre-proposal to allow DNR to review their project. A site visit by the LIP biologist may also be needed to assess the project. If DNR approves the pre-proposal, landowners are invited to submit a full proposal, which includes a detailed budget, project objectives, work schedule and evaluation benchmarks.

    Funding is provided to highly ranked projects on a first-come, first-served basis. Project proposals and may request funding between $2,500 and $25,000. Projects generally last one year, but may be extended for various reasons, including weather.

    As a cost-share program, the department will reimburse a landowner for up to 75 percent of the cost for on-the-ground practices involved in the management of the project. Landowners are required to contribute the remaining 25 percent share through out-of-pocket costs, or as an in-kind labor and equipment match. The program is competitive, and landowners should visit the LIP website to review the project ranking criteria, eligible work and costs for details.

    Any land located within the Driftless Area that is not publicly owned is eligible, including traditional private parcels, land trust holdings, non-governmental easement properties, or facilitated projects and community groups. Projects must provide benefits to at-risk species, but often benefit other species as well. Landowners have achieved a number of goals on their land - an example being help clearing away brush that may hamper cattle while increasing habitat for declining grassland birds.

    To learn more, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "Landowner Incentive Program."

    Last Revised: Wednesday, September 09, 2015

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