Nevada Landowner Incentive Program

The primary objective of this program is to protect and restore habitats on private lands to benefit Species of Conservation Concern; those species which are Federally listed, proposed, or candidate species as well as other species determined to be at risk.

NLIP will provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners for habitat protection and restoration.

In 2002, the Bush Administration created the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) to catalyze state wildlife agency efforts to develop programs that focused on private lands.¹

With funding authorized by Congress, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides this funding to support states’ collaborative efforts with private landowners interested in conserving natural habitat for species at risk, including Federally listed endangered or threatened species and proposed or candidate species, on private land while these individuals continue to engage in traditional land-use practices.

¹The Landowner Incentive Program: Model State Approaches and Recommendations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. T.Male and M. Bauer. 2003. Unpublished Environmental Defense discussion paper.

Why does Nevada Need the Landowner Incentive Program?

The Nevada Landowner Incentive Program (NLIP) is a program designed to help private landowners throughout the state improve and preserve wildlife habitat while maintaining the original uses of their land.

The program understands and appreciates the traditional land use history of the state, and strives to coordinate with these “working landscapes” to find ways to preserve both the financial “bottom line” while retaining and improving the invaluable wildlife habitat many of these properties contain.

Restoring and maintaining habitat on private land is essential to meeting our nation’s conservation goals because so many species depend upon this land for survival.¹ Recognizing that our nation’s species conservation goals cannot be achieved by focusing effort solely on public lands, federal and state governments have been allocating increasing financial resources to the conservation of imperiled species on private lands.²

Development patterns throughout Nevada and the nation have historically been in close proximity to riparian areas (vegetation associated next to rivers, streams, or springs). This pattern of development, through agricultural production, grazing, or urban development, while logical, has placed a strain on the biological health and survivorship of many species throughout the State. Nevada’s arid nature makes private riparian areas even more important for wildlife within the state.

A concerted effort to study, improve, and preserve healthy sagebrush habitat is a major focus for the State of Nevada. This habitat is vital to the continued survival of many of the sagebrush obligate species, such as the greater sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, and Brewer’s sparrow, to name just a few.

¹ Testimony of Gale A. Norton, Secretary of the Interior, before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. May 8, 2001

²The Landowner Incentive Program: Model State Approaches and Recommendations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Timothy Male, PhD. And Marybeth Bauer, M.S. Environmental Defense Center for Conservation Incentives; July 2003.

Why is the Nevada Landowner Incentive Program (NLIP) so important in Nevada?

While the majority of land in Nevada is publicly owned, the remaining privately owned property is frequently situated near valuable water and riparian habitats, productive springs, seeps and meadows that are favored by much of the states’ wildlife. Due to the proximity to water, much of this land is in farming and ranching production, but at the same time is a valuable resource for wildlife. Aquatic habitats in Nevada support 25 rare fish species and several amphibians. Nearly all wildlife depend on water and associated habitats like seeps and springs.

The encroachment of Pinyon-Juniper into meadows and sagebrush habitats, invasion of cheatgrass and other non-native species, depletion of water resources (for human consumption as well as other uses, such as agriculture), fire, fragmentation and urban development will continue to threaten these environments.

This is an important program for Nevada for several reasons.

  • Nevada is one of the fastest growing States in the Nation.
  • Habitat loss, fragmentation, fire and development threats will continue to threaten wildlife habitat.
  • Private lands harbor a high percentage of native wildlife species
  • Nevada values its wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend

What does the NLIP program provide to Landowners?

The Nevada Landowner Incentive Program (NLIP) staff will be responsible for administering the program within the Department of Wildlife. It is responsible for providing and coordinating the technical and financial assistance landowners need to improve, establish, or restore habitats that benefit Nevada’s Species of Conservation Concern.

Your NLIP Coordinator can help you determine what species of conservation concern may be on your lands, or, for further information on federally listed threatened, endangered, or state species of conservation concern, click on the links, below.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

The NLIP program funding is targeted at protecting habitat for threatened, endangered, and sensitive species throughout the state. Eligible projects include restoring native vegetation, prescribed burns, grazing management, brush and weed (invasive exotic plant species) management, removing or placing fish passage barriers, stream restoration, and purchasing conservation easements.

Project applicants can apply for the amount of financial assistance necessary to do a project on private property. The Federal LIP contribution for these private landowner projects is 75% with a non-federal match of 25%. This non-federal portion can be fulfilled through a variety of mechanisms; through “in-kind” contributions by the landowner that can include such things as labor, the use of equipment or materials, or volunteer time to monitor the success of projects, or through state funding, if available.

We will also work with other agencies such as Nevada Division of Forestry and non-profit organizations such as Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy, or local working groups and Implementation Teams throughout the State.

How are Habitat Improvement Projects Selected for Funding?

Project ideas/proposals are initially reviewed by the NLIP Coordinator and NDOW biologists to ensure they meet the minimum criteria for the program. (This minimum criterion includes private land ownership and the ability to improve wildlife habitat for sensitive species anywhere in the state).

Proposals are then reviewed and ranked by a the Ranking Team that is made up of NDOW biologists and representatives from other agencies and organizations, as well as a private landowner. The ranking criteria include:

  • Number of species protected
  • Project is part of an existing Conservation Planning effort
  • Potential for success and monitoring of project
  • Conservation Easement potential

After proposals are ranked by the NLIP ranking team, a formal proposal is written and submitted to the USFWS for funding approval. The Nevada LIP program is funded annually by the USFWS, and there is a limit to what each state receives. This annual funding to states is dependant upon Congressional appropriations each year.

Who can apply for this program?

Private landowners, individually or as a group, can apply. Additionally, watershed councils, community organizations, non-profit groups are eligible to apply as long the proposed project will occur on private land.

Do you have further questions?

The NLIP Coordinator is here to help! If you have a project idea and are unsure how to fill out the application, or just have questions about your project idea, do not hesitate to call.

If your project does not "fit" into the NDOW Landowner Program, the coordinator will try to help you find funding and technical assistance through another program.

Links to other Landowner Programs in the State of Nevada