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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Landowner & Habitat Help Landowner & Habitat Help

Financial Assistance

The following financial assistance programs are available to landowners to improve Indiana wildlife habitat. To learn more about each program, please download the information and contact the respective agency in charge of the program.

Division of Fish & Wildlife

Classified Forest and Wildlands Program
This program provides a property tax reduction to landowners enrolling 10 or more acres of forest, grassland, shrubland or wetland. The landowner must follow a management plan approved by the District Forester to remain in compliance with the program. A legal description of the acreage must be prepared by a registered surveyor and recorded in the County Recorders Office. The assessed value of classified lands is reduced to $1 per acre for property tax purposes. Click here to view the Classified Forest and Wildlands brochure.

Game Bird Habitat Development Program
To participate in this program a landowner must own or control 10 or more acres to participate. The program is a financial assistance program that reimburses a portion of the expenses incurred by a landowner for developing bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, ruffed grouse or wild turkey habitat, specified in management plan prepared by the District Wildlife Biologist. The program may reimburse up to $100 per acre of habitat created, not to exceed 40 acres of development. To see if you qualify, download the Game Bird Habitat Development Program.

Wildlife Habitat Cost-Share Program
To participate in this program a landowner must own or control 10 or more acres. The program is a financial assistance program that reimburses a portion of the expenses incurred by a landowner for developing wildlife habitat, specified in management plan prepared by the District Wildlife Biologist. The program will reimburse the landowner for habitat development projects based on DFW Habitat Development Reimbursement Rates. To see if you qualify, download the Wildlife Habitat Cost-Share Program.

Game Bird Partnership Program
The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife administers this program in partnership with local Pheasants Forever and Quail Unlimited chapters and The National Wild Turkey Federation. The program is a financial assistance program that reimburses a portion of the expenses incurred by a landowner for developing bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, or wild turkey habitat. The Division of Fish and Wildlife contributes up to 50 percent of the reimbursable costs, not to exceed $100 per acre and $1,000 per landowner. The sponsoring partnership organization also contributes funds, materials or labor towards the completion of the project. Contact your District Wildlife Biologist for more information.

N.E. Wetland/Grassland Restoration Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers this program in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife. The program is a financial assistance program that reimburses landowners up to 100 percent of the expenses incurred for the restoration of wetlands and the establishment of native grasses. Qualifying projects must be located in one of the following northeastern Indiana counties: Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Steuben, Noble, DeKalb, Whitley, or Allen.

USDA, NRCS - United States Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
The USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this program. WHIP is a technical and financial assistance program that reimburses up to 75 percent of eligible expenses incurred by a landowner for the development of wildlife habitat specified in an approved application. Maximum reimbursement cannot exceed $50,000.

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
The USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this program. WRP is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners for the restoration of wetlands and associated upland habitat. The level of financial assist is dependent upon the enrollment option selected by the landowner. Options include 10-year restoration agreements, 30-year conservation easements, and permanent easement.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
The USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service administers this program. EQIP is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers for establishing conservation practices to protect soil and water quality. Assistance is targeted to livestock and related natural resource concerns, including wildlife habitat. EQIP reimburses landowners up to 75 percent of eligible expenses incurred by the landowner for installation of conservation practices specified in an approved application.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
The USDA, Farm Services Agency administers this program with technical assistance provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program is a voluntary land retirement program that enables eligible agricultural lands to be enrolled at any time into buffer practices to address soil erosion and water quality in specifically targeted watersheds. The program provides financial assistance incentives and annual payments that exceed those available through Continuous CRP. This program targets agricultural lands adjacent to watercourses in the following watersheds: Tippecanoe, Highland/Pigeon, and portions of the Upper White, including Tipton, Hamilton, Madison, Marion, and Hancock Counties.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - General Sign-Up Program
The USDA, Farm Services Agency administers this program with technical assistance provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program is a voluntary land retirement program that enables eligible agricultural lands to be enrolled, during specific sign-up periods, into various conservation cover types that address soil erosion, water quality, and wildlife habitat. The program provides annual payments commensurate with contract length (10 to 15 years) and 50 percent cost-share for the establishment of the conservation cover and other needed conservation practices.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - Continuous Sign-Up Program
The USDA, Farm Services Agency administers this program with technical assistance provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program is a voluntary land retirement program that enables eligible agricultural lands to be enrolled at any time into buffer practices to address soil erosion and water quality. Many of the practices can also be designed to improve wildlife habitat. The program provides annual payments in excess of those available through General CRP, and incentive payments and cost-share assistance commensurate with contract length (10 to 15 years) and conservation practice selection.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Partners For Fish and Wildlife Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers this program. The program provides financial assistance to private landowners through voluntary cooperative agreements for the restoration of wetlands and other habitats of significant importance to Federal trust species. Landowners sign an agreement to retain the restoration project for at least 10 years.

Technical Assistance

Have land that you want to manage for wildlife?  Contact your District Wildlife Biologist

Have questions about the Classified Forest and Wildlands Program?  Contact your District Forester

Have questions about your pond?  Check out the Pond Management section or contact a private company on the Indiana Aquatic Services List.  You can also contact your District Fisheries Biologist