Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)
The Texas Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is a collaborative effort between TPWD Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Divisions to meet the needs of private, non-federal landowners wishing to enact good conservation practices on their lands for the benefit of healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. LIP is funded through partnerships with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and other partners. Your first step is to contact your local TPWD Wildlife biologist. Use the map to the left to find your local TPWD biologist to assist you with applying for funding. A pre-proposal must be submitted by a TPWD biologist.
The Texas LIP currently offers the following funding options:
Statewide LIP Funding Series
- Pre-proposal submission deadline - May 30th, 2014.
- Exceptional projects will be funded on a rolling basis so don't wait for a submission deadline to submit.
- TPWD biologists - Download the LIP Pre-proposal Template.
LIP Watershed Funding Series
- Project proposals taken on a continuous basis until all funds are spent.
- Targeting property in both the riparian zone and uplands of the Llano River Watershed.
- Download the LIP Pre-proposal Template
The LIP Watershed Funding Series is dedicated to conservation actions that positively impact the Llano & James River Watersheds. Property does not have to include a riparian area to be considered. Many forms of conservation land stewardship will qualify, including upland habitat enhancements. The goal is to improve water quality, increase water quantity, restore riparian systems, remove non-native species, and reduce stream system fragmentation. The program encourages and supports a wide array of sustainable land-use activities that are compatible with aquatic resource conservation. While the ultimate goal of this funding is to improve habitat for the state fish, the Guadalupe Bass, this funding will be used to support projects implementing conservation actions on any landscape within the targeted watershed with the understanding that conservation based land stewardship will have a positive impact on the watershed.
The Statewide LIP Funding Series is designed to meet the needs of private, non-federal landowners wishing to enact good conservation practices on their lands. We encourage all good conservation projects to submit pre-proposals but for the 2014 funding period we will be prioritizing projects in the following way:
Highest Priority: projects located in the Trans Pecos or Edwards Plateau Ecoregions (in areas shaded green or purple on the 2013/2014 Focus Map) and that provide direct benefits to federally-listed or Candidate species and their habitats.
High Priority: Any project that provides direct benefit to a federally-listed or Candidate species and their habitats.
Other projects that do not directly benefit a federally-listed or Candidate species or their habitats, but do provide direct benefits to native resident and migratory wildlife species and their habitats will be given careful considered on a case by case basis.
Special considerations will be given to habitat enhancement projects offering long-term protection, long-term monitoring, and greater than the required minimum landowner contribution.
Use the map to the left or click these links to find your local TPWD or USFWS biologist to assist you with applying for funding. This allocation of LIP funding is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. All projects approved for funding are thereby subject to the terms and conditions of that Program.
Proposals showing direct benefit to a listed species may apply for up to 75% LIP cost share for a total of no more than $40,000.00 in LIP funding (this does not include the match -in-kind labor, materials, monetary, etc.).
Proposals not showing direct benefit to a listed species will require a minimum of 50% landowner contribution and will be capped at $25,000.00 LIP funding (this does not include the match - in-kind labor, materials, monetary, etc.).
This allocation of LIP funding is made possible through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Southeastern U.S. Native Black Bass Keystone Initiative as well as partnerships with Anheuser Busch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grants, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Passage Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish and Restoration Program, etc. All projects approved for funding are thereby subject to the terms and conditions of that grant. Grants require a 50:50 cost share. Additional contact person for this funding series is Megan Bean, Watershed Ecologist, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, 830-866-3050.
How do I get involved with the Landowner Incentive Program?
The first step is to contact your local TPWD office and establish a relationship with a staff biologist who will help you with an ecological assessment of your land, review your goals, and provide you with information regarding the various incentive and assistance programs available. If together you decide that the LIP program could help you meet your management and restoration goals, your TPWD biologist will assist you to prepare and submit a project proposal packet.
What are some criteria for applying?
- Meet the specific requirements of your targeted LIP funding series.
- The results of the proposed action(s) must be measurable. Therefore, the landowner must agree to allow biologists onto their property for a pre-agreement survey and periodic progress checks to assess the success of the project objectives. Priority is also given to those projects where long term species monitoring is implemented.
- The landowner must be willing to sign a project agreement or management plan. Each agreement or management plan will be designed to meet the landowner's individual conservation and land use needs and objectives. Inability to complete management actions due to weather or other conditions beyond the landowner's control will be considered individually and rescheduled.
How will proposals be selected?
The LIP is a competitive grant program. Project proposals are reviewed and ranked according to the ranking criteria specific to the funding series. Depending on the funding series, proposals are also reviewed by TPWD diversity biologists, fisheries staff and in some cases the LIP Advisory Committee. The committee consists of private landowners and representatives of natural resource agencies and conservation organizations. The primary selection criteria will be based on the extent to which the action achieves the goals of the targeted funding series balanced against the cost effectiveness of the proposed action. Applicants not selected will be eligible to reapply. Successful applicants will be notified and arrangements will be made to develop terms of the agreement. Because LIP utilizes federal funds, TPWD is required to provide assurances that the project will not negatively impact important cultural resources or federally-listed species, so reviews may be needed depending on the planned project activities.
What type of project is eligible for funding?
TPWD encourages effective and cost-efficient conservation projects. Funds can be used for projects that enhance and protect wildlife habitat and/or enhance target watersheds. Common practices include native plant restoration, control of exotic vegetation, prescribed burning, selective brush management, wetland enhancement, riparian restoration, and forest stand improvement. Other actions not listed here that will accomplish conservation goals at reasonable cost are encouraged and will be considered.
What are the funding limitations?
LIP is a cost-share reimbursement program. Depending on the funding series, TPWD will contribute between 50% and 75% of a total project costs, while the applicant is expected to contribute the balance (materials or in-kind services are acceptable match). LIP is a reimbursement program, so landowners receive payment upon completion of planned practices and submission of valid invoices (both for reimbursement and for match credit). Receipt of payment will be contingent on the landowner's fulfillment of the agreement and completion of the project. Landowners are expected to work with their TPWD biologist to document final results of the project. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted by the TPWD biologist working on the project.
Annual program funding varies according to availability of LIP funds.
Project proposals must be filled out by a TPWD biologist who will work on the project. Please contact your local TPWD wildlife biologist for more information.