The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, a recent addition to CRP, is designed to help landowners improve wildlife habitat on private lands. The program's funding ($50 million in CRP funds) is to be expended over several years. The program provides cost-sharing to landowners for developing habitat for upland wildlife, wetland wildlife, endangered species, fisheries, and other wildlife. It also provides for consulting with state technical committees to set priorities for cost-share measures and habitat-development projects.
EQIP is a new program that combines the functions of the Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP), the Water Quality Incentives Program, the Great Plains Conservation Program, and the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program. EQIP is funded at $130 million in FY 1996 and $200 million annually thereafter. Livestock-related conservation practices will receive 50 percent of program funding, and the remainder can be used for other conservation concerns. Land eligible for EQIP contracts is agricultural land that poses a serious problem to soil, water, or related resources. The program is to be implemented through 5-to 10-year contracts to provide technical assistance and pays up to 75 percent of the costs of conservation practices. Activities under the contract must be carried out according to a conservation plan. Total cost-share and incentive payments to any person are limited to $10,000 annually, and to $50,000 for the life of the contract.
The Forestry Incentives Program (FIP), established in 1973, provides financial assistance to private forestland owners for tree planting and timber stand improvement. Between 1974 and 1992, approximately 3 million acres of nonindustrial private forestlands were planted (Kurtz et al. 1994). The requirements for participating landowners include a minimum quality site and a minimum plantation size. Funding for the program flows through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, which issues the cost-share payments to participants. However, the USDA Forest Service, in cooperation with the state forestry agencies, provides technical assistance to private landowners participating in the program. This program has been authorized through 2002. Total cost shares provided in 1995 were $9,258,119.
The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to cover losses such as orchard trees, forest-tree seedlings, and nursery inventory. The trees