State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) is a nationwide Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practice within the continuous sign-up administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The SAFE initiative allows public and private organizations and state and federal agencies to propose areas where new CRP acreage is essential to benefit endangered, threatened or high priority fish and wildlife species.
The continuous sign-up is ongoing year-round and is targeted at priority soil, water and wildlife issues. There are five SAFE CRP projects in Iowa:
- Pheasant Recovery SAFE is for Iowa landowners who want to return pheasants to their property, and is eligible to landowners in northern two-thirds of Iowa.
- Early Successional Quail Habitat SAFE is for landowners who want to return bobwhite quail to their property, and is eligible to landowners in the southern one-third of Iowa.
- Gaining Ground for Wildlife SAFE is for landowners who want to bring back grassland songbirds to restore native grasslands, and is eligible to landowners around the state.
- Early Successional Forest and Neotropical Migratory Bird SAFE is for landowners who want to develop high-density, hardwood tree plantings for ruffed grouse, and is eligible to landowners mainly in northeastern Iowa.
- Grand River Grassland SAFE is for landowners in Ringgold and Decatur counties to increase populations of the greater prairie chicken, and other grassland dependent songbirds.
Each SAFE program has different habitat requirements and counties eligible. Staff with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources private lands program or with Pheasants Forever can assist landowners with enrolling qualifying land into CRP. Visit the Iowa DNR’s website for more information at www.iowadnr.gov/crp