Contact(s): Anne Reis, DNR Voluntary Public Access & Habitat Incentive program coordinator, 608-279-6483
MADISON - Landowners are encouraged to share the land through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive program. Landowners can earn extra income in exchange for opening their land on a short-term basis to low-impact recreation such as hunting, fishing and trapping and wildlife observation.
Over 175 landowners are currently providing access to 33,000 acres of habitat on 229 properties for outdoor recreators to enjoy.
Through VPA-HIP, landowners receive payments through an annual lease. Payment rates are based on the land type (agriculture land = $3/acre, grassland/wetland = $10/acre, and forestland = $15/acre). Priority will be given to parcels greater than 40 acres in size with at least 25 percent usable cover and near properties currently open to public hunting or fishing. Lands enrolled in other conservation programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement and Management Forest Law, may also sign up for VPA-HIP.
Enrolled landowners are also eligible for technical assistance and financial incentives to create and maintain wildlife habitat. Enroll before Aug. 1 to secure your place on the wait list for future funding.
To find out if your land qualifies for this program, check out the eligibility and service area map.
For a landowner perspective on this program, listen to the new Wild Wisconsin Off the Record podcast about VPA-HIP or check out this VPA-HIP video to see just a few of the habitat-rich lands enrolled in the program.