Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)
- What is LIP?
- What are the benefits?
- Who can participate?
- How much assistance can I get?
- Where is LIP assistance currently available?
- How can I get involved?
What is LIP?
- LIP is a federal grant program funded by US Fish and Wildlife Service
- LIP is a grant-based voluntary cost-share program administered by VDGIF
- LIP provides 75% cost share to landowners willing to install and maintain stream restoration and riparian buffer projects on their property for at least 10 years
Virginia is one of the most biologically diverse states in the nation. Over 3,000 species of native plants and animals are contained within the borders of the Commonwealth. Biological diversity is apparent throughout the various aquatic and terrestrial habitats across its coastal, piedmont, and mountain regions.
Virginia's Wildlife Action Plan identified 925 species of wildlife as rare or at-risk. Over half (465) of those species are aquatic or have aquatic life stages. The most abundant habitat for these species is Virginia's rivers, creeks, and streams. To protect and restore biological diversity, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is providing financial and technical assistance to landowners through the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP).
VDGIF's primary focus is stream restoration within selected watersheds in central and western Virginia where most of the rare, aquatic species occur. However, rare species can be found in numerous habitats including caves, wetlands, dunes, and other unique places. Landowners with these types of property are also part of Virginia's LIP plan. Technical assistance is available to all Virginians and funding may be available in additional watersheds in the future.
What are the benefits?
- Preserve the diversity of wildlife in the Commonwealth
- Improve degrading lands by implementing conservation practices
- The benefits of riparian buffers are well-documented
- Create habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species
- Improve water quality for ourselves and future generations
- Eliminate sedimentation sources to restore the natural condition and ecological health that will revitalize the rivers, streams and bays in Virginia
Who can participate?
- Private landowners including farms, corporations, residents, hunting clubs, non-profits, and any other non-governmental organizations
- Individuals that own land along a river, creek, or stream within selected watersheds with rare wildlife species
- Landowners who are willing to protect their restoration project with at least a 35-foot vegetated buffer
How much assistance can I get?
- VDGIF offers payment for 75% of the total project cost on a reimbursement basis
- VDGIF will provide engineering assistance and acquire any regulatory permits required to implement projects
- Landowners are responsible for 25% of the project cost, but in-kind services can be used as match
- Donations of materials and volunteer help can be used to make up the landowner's portion of project costs
- LIP can be combined with other conservation programs to achieve a whole farm conservation plan
Where is LIP currently available?
- The upper Tennessee River Basin including the Powell, Clinch, and Forks of the Holston Rivers and all tributaries (Region 3)
- The New River Basin including the Bluestone & New Rivers and Wolf Creek and all tributaries (Region 3)
- The Roanoke River Basin including the Dan, Smith, Pigg and Roanoke Rivers and all tributaries (Region 2)
- The upper James River Basin including the James River and all tributaries upstream of the Rivanna River (Region 2 and Region 4)
- The Rivanna River Basin including the Forks of Rivanna Rivers and all tributaries (Region 4)
How can I get involved?
If your property is located in one of the above colored watersheds, call or write your regional VDGIF office (attn: Stream Restoration Biologist).