The DNR offers 75% cost-share funding to County Conservation Boards for the acquisition and development of lands for wildlife habitat. Lands must be open to hunting and trapping. Only those compatible activities such as fishing, hiking, nature study, cross-country skiing, etc. will be permitted. Applications must be for a project with a cost of not less than $4,000 due to administrative costs.
Grant applications for wildlife habitat projects are received two times a year, the last working day in May and in November.
Development projects may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Establishment of tree and shrub plantings specifically for wildlife habitat including purchase of planting stock, herbicides and fertilizers, equipment rental, and post-planting maintenance during the first year.
- Establishment of grass seedings primarily for wildlife habitat including purchase of seed, herbicides and fertilizers, equipment rental, and post-establishment care during the second year if necessary. State assistance for the establishment of native grass on privately owned land will be based on the same rates established for any state-sponsored native grass program currently in effect.
- Dam, dikes, levees, and water-control structures, pothole blasting etc., to provide or enhance waterfowl habitat.
- Fencing where necessary to exclude livestock or otherwise protect habitat.
- Timber stand improvement such as thinning and clearing for any other vegetative stand improvement to enhance wildlife habitat.
Acquisition projects are eligible when the land to be acquired is to be used for wildlife habitat purposes. The cost of an approved appraisal report and the cost of surveys necessary to determine acreage or to establish boundaries are also eligible for assistance.
Projects being assisted by any other grant or assistance program will be eligible for WHSF assistance in an amount not to exceed the unassisted portion of the project cost up to a maximum of seventy-five percent of the total project cost.
The following types of projects are not eligible for assistance:
- Acquisition of land when the principal use of the land will be for something other than wildlife habitat.
- Any type of development which will not provide, protect, or enhance wildlife habitat.
- Maintenance except as provided for tree and shrub plantings and grass seeding.
Grant Application Portal
Official Submission of Application: https://iowadnr.slideroom.com
For more information please call 515-725-8200.