Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wildlife Habitat Program Offers Assistance

Financial And Technical Assistance For Restoration Of Wildlife Habitats

LABELLE, FL. (Nov. 9, 2005) -- State Conservationist Niles Glasgow with
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service announces December 15 as the
cutoff date for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. WHIP offers
financial and technical assistance to install structural and management
practices on eligible non-federal lands to address restoration of declining
habitats of South Florida. Conservation treatment activities approved
under WHIP are carried out in accordance to a conservation plan that is
developed with the landowner or manager.

Priorities for WHIP include habitat restoration on declining habitats of
South Florida: South Florida Rockland (Pine Rockland/Everglades
Flatwoods and Tropical Hardwood Hammock), Scrubby Flatwoods, and Dry
Prairie. Final ranking will be based on the presence of declining habitats,
management for declining species (including bobwhite quail), and removal
of exotic, invasive species (including Old World climbing fern,
Brazilian pepper, Tropical soda apple, Melaleuca, Cogon Grass and Downy
rose myrtle).

Sign-up will occur in the following counties ONLY: Polk, Osceola,
Brevard, Highlands, Miami-Dade, Collier, Hendry, Martin, Broward,
Glades, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Indian River, Monroe, and Palm Beach.
Workshops will be held in LaBelle on December 7th at 6:30 pm; and
Kissimmee on December 8th at 6:30 pm to inform landowners of program
participation. For additional details on the WHIP program, specific
eligibility requirements to participate and further information on
scheduled workshops, contact the LaBelle Field Office, 1085 Pratt Blvd.,
phone 863-674-5700.

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