Oklahoma Landowners Program Expanded

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Northwest Oklahoma landowners can play a key role in conserving some of the state's most important wildlife habitats -- and receive financial incentives at the same time.

"Most every landowner I have met is passionate about the land and about the wildlife that lives there," said Larry Wiemers, wildlife biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "Landowners also have a sharp eye on the bottom line of their operations. This Landowner Incentive Program offers a real win-win situation from both perspectives."

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Landowner Incentive Program was created in 2003 to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners for the restoration, enhancement, and protection of habitats important to a wide range of wildlife species. Some of the habitat types include playas, streams, and prairies. The program was created with funds provided by a grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Department recently expanded the program to include more habitat types, more wildlife species, and more landowners in the southern High Plains region.

"All you have to do is fill out a simple one-page application, and a biologist will contact you to evaluate the property," Wiemers said. "In some cases, landowners can get straight incentive payments, and in other cases, we'll share the restoration costs with landowners."

Interested landowners should contact the Wildlife Department's Woodward office at (580) 254-9173, or log on to wildlifedepartment.com.