Almost 90 percent of Arkansas’s land is privately owned. Many landowners and managers who are concerned about the environment and wildlife often forget to consider it in their management activities. Many more don’t know where to start.
Acres for Wildlife is a free environmental action program of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission which targets all wildlife species and gives special emphasis on species of greatest conservation concern. It improves habitat and encourages landowners to consider wildlife needs in conjunction with good farming, livestock production and forestry practices.
The program does not retire cropland or grazing land, nor does it open “posted” land to hunters. This is left entirely to the discretion of the landowner.
Benefits of the program
- Free technical assistance from a Private Lands Biologist.
- Signs to place around gates and entry roads to identify the area is being managed for wildlife.
- Seed packets will be distributed only to landowners enrolled in the Native Warm Season Grass/Forb Component of the program (see below).
- Each landowner is eligible to receive up to $5000 + in-kind practices per contract.
- A landowner is required to have a minimum of 5 contiguous acres that can be planted to participate.
- Must own or have at least a 5-year lease on the property.
- Enrollment in the program is for 5 years.
- Applicant must have access to equipment to implement practices to include site preparation, planting, spraying, burning and managing practices as required in the Wildlife Management Plan.
- Cannot use Acres for Wildlife funded practices on the same practice in another State or Federal program.
- No hay cutting in the contracted NWSG acres during the contract period.
- No livestock in the contracted NWSG acres or Prescribed burned acres during the contract period.
- No repeated disturbances in the contracted acres such as shooting ranges, dog field trials, or urban disturbances.
- The use of establishing NWSG, herbicide application, prescribed burning, fire breaks, TSI, Edge Feathering, or Down Tree Structures must be established and maintained according to the Wildlife Management Plan. Practice establishment and management criteria will be provided in this plan.
- This is a competitive program, and applicants will be approved for the program based on their ranking completed by an AGFC Private Lands Biologist (PLB). Applicants will be approved based on their score on the ranking register. Applicants will be funded on the register from highest to lowest until the funding runs out.
- If for any reason, landowner or land manager does not maintain the contracted acres funded by the program under the 5 year contract period, the landowner/manager must reimburse AGFC for the cost-share received or replacement cost of provided items. (such as NWSG seed or herbicide).
- The cost-share practices provided through this program must be implemented in the first year and maintained for 5 years to establish and maintain the funded practices.
- Participants installing practices which require Federal, State, or local permits are responsible for obtaining those permits.
- Forest stand improvement and fire breaks must either have a Prescribed burn practice in the contract or thru another program.
- Fire break cap per contract is $2500 per 5-year contract
- Fire break must be at least 8 feet wide and meet Arkansas Forestry Commission Best Management Practices for erosion control.
- The participant receiving program benefits shall hold the State government harmless for either of the following actions by the participant:
- Infringement on the rights of others.
- Failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations.
- Any modifications to the funded practices in the Wildlife Management Plan
AGFC Contact Information
Contact an office below for additional Acres for Wildlife or other private lands program information:
- Brinkley – 877-734-4581
- Calico Rock – 877297-4331
- Camden – 877-836-4612
- Fort Smith – 877-478-1043
- Hope – 877-777-5580
- Hot Springs – 877-525-8606
- Jonesboro – 877-972-5438
- Little Rock – 877-470-3650
- Monticello – 877-367-3559
- Russellville – 877-967-7577