EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service recently announced they will provide $20 million in grants to 15 states to improve and increase wildlife habitat and public access for hunting.
The projects are being funded under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP).
"Hunting participation is on the decline due, in part, to loss of places to hunt," said National Wild Turkey Federation Chief Conservation Officer Becky Humphries. "The actions of the NRCS are in line with our Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, and we support their efforts to increase hunting opportunities for the general public and improve wildlife habitat.
According to the NRCS, The selected state governments will encourage owners and operators of privately held farm, ranch or forest land to voluntarily open their land for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation and to improve fish and wildlife habitat on that land.
The NRCS awarded grants for projects in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The NWTF worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers on the conservation benefits of the VPA-HIP and urged inclusion in the 2009 Farm Bill, as well as its reauthorization in 2014. The NWTF also worked with state agencies to deliver on past grants.
For more information about NRCS and the grant program, visitwww.nrcs.usda.gov.
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
For additional story information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698