New Program Aims at Helping Threatened or Endangered Species in Iowa
DES MOINES - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for private landowners wanting to enhance and protect habitat critical to plant or animal species listed as threatened or endangered.
This new effort is part of a three-year project called the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) that allows the DNR to provide up to $300,000 each year in grants to help landowners improve habitat. The focus of LIP is not tied to any crop base or farming practice, but is for all landowners who are looking to protect and enhance existing habitat in critical natural resource areas, said Kelly Smith, LIP coordinator for the DNR.
"We need the landowner to take the first step and contact one of our staff in the field," Smith said. "Once they contact us, our staff will visit the site to see what habitat and species are present, then work on a plan to improve the habitat for those species."
Land with any plant, bird, mammal, fish, butterfly or other species on the federal threatened or endangered list will be considered first; land with species listed in the Iowa as threatened or endangered would be considered second.
Smith said landowners can receive up to 75 percent of the cost to improve habitat on their land, and the DNR is working to identify other sources of funding to help offset the remaining cost.
"We are also trying to coordinate with other groups who are doing similar projects in the state," she said.
The DNR has a list of private lands staff on the wildlife page on www.iowadnr.com, then click on private lands management.
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