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Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program: Status and Current Issues

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Publication Date: February 2007

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22603

Topic: Environment (Animals)

Abstract:

The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible participants to improve and develop wildlife habitat and enhance wildlife populations. Participants enter into contracts, usually 5 to 10 years in duration, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which pays up to 75% of the contract implementation cost. Since its enactment in the 1996 farm bill, WHIP has enrolled more than 3.6 million acres through 24,200 contracts. Eligible acreage includes private, tribal, nonprofit, and state and federal land. As the 110th Congress considers the 2007 farm bill, it may explore several issues about WHIP, including an ongoing backlog of applications, species-specific funding, and program consolidation.