Agency also accepting applications for next round of funding

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) officials have announced that an ad-hoc committee of wildlife professionals recently evaluated applications for Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) grants and awarded $409,347 of LIP funds to 13 private landowners. This program provides technical assistance and financial incentives to enhance wildlife habitat on private land in central and western Kansas.

Projects recently funded include converting cropland to native grass, removing invasive plants from native mixed-grass prairie, and constructing alternative watering facilities for livestock. Collectively, these projects will improve more than 19,600 acres of habitat and benefit 14 at-risk species in Kansas, including five snakes, three fishes, three birds, two amphibians, and one mammal.

KDWP originally received $500,000 in funding for LIP from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to aid in the protection and management of priority habitats. The $90,653 of LIP funds still available will be distributed to private landowners who apply.

The new deadline for applications is Jan. 31, 2008. To effectively use remaining funds, KDWP will limit participation to privately-owned land within the mixed-grass and short-grass prairie regions that are west of the Flint Hills. To be eligible, proposed projects must contribute to the enhancement of at least one priority species or its habitat. Landowners also must agree to allow authorized personnel access to project lands, and the FWS requires landowners to contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the project cost, either in direct funds or in-kind labor, material, or equipment.

Landowners interested in participating should mail LIP Program Coordinator, KDWP, 512 SE 25th Ave, Pratt, KS 67124, or phone 620-672-5911. Persons with special communication needs may use the Kansas Relay Center, 1-800-766-3777.

For more information about the grant program, go online. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance reference number is 15.633.