Incentives offered for bobwhite habitat

Incentives offered for bobwhite habitat

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:02 pm

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is offering one-time incentive payments for high value habitat practices in several USDA programs in targeted bobwhite restoration counties in 2012.
Bobwhite quail, along with other wildlife that depend on the same habitats, such as field sparrows, Bachman’s sparrows and cottontail rabbits, have been suffering from long-term population declines.
The TWRA incentives are in addition to the regular cost-share and other payments in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Reserve Program.
Practices for which TWRA incentive payments will be offered include:
• Conversion of at least five acres cropland or grassland to native grassland with native shrub thicket and/or hedgerows.
• Establishment of at least five acres of pollinator habitat (wildflowers with some native grasses and shrubs) in blocks and/or field buffers.
• Performing prescribed burning, strip disking, strip herbicide application, and/or shrubby cover development on at least 5 acres of existing native grasses not currently under an active USDA contract.
• Prescribed burning of thinned woodlands.
• Development of shrubby cover by thinning the edges of woodlands adjacent to fields and/or renovation of existing hedgerows.
• Establishment of wide (over 50 foot average width) native grass buffers in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Counties in which the incentives will be offered include:
• West Tennessee: Carr-oll, Crockett, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hay-wood, Henry, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Tipton, Weakley.
• Middle Tennessee: Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson.
• East Tennessee: Mc-Minn, Meigs, Rhea, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins.
In these programs, a TWRA or USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) biologist will develop a management plan for your property to address the priority wildlife and other resource needs. In the WHIP and EQIP programs, your plans will be scored and ranked against other contracts for acceptance.
Published in The WCP 12.15.11

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