Few creatures attract as much attention today as the monarch butterfly and northern bobwhite quail. Both are highly desired, but some properties have but few. Thankfully, funding programs and habitat enhancement opportunities abound for landowners wishing to see more. CRP SAFE is a great example.
The USDA’s Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is one of the world’s largest voluntary conservation programs with an established track record of preserving topsoil, sequestering carbon, reducing nitrogen runoff and providing healthy habitat for wildlife. Today, the program offers enhanced benefits and opportunities to Oklahoma landowners looking to make a difference for species like bobwhite quail and monarch butterflies.
Through CRP SAFE (State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement), landowners are given the option to restore cropland to native grassland habitat to benefit wildlife. Expiring CRP acres may also be eligible, especially lands that meet native vegetation requirements.
New in 2021-22 are enhanced benefits to landowners including Signing Incentive Payments, Practice Incentive Payments, and one-time “inflationary” adjustments that are designed to increase program payments and encourage participation. CRP SAFE is also included within the Continuous Signup period, meaning applicants can enroll anytime.
Overall, enrolled producers receive 10-15 years of annual rental payments and up to 50% cost-share for practice establishment, including planting native grassland vegetation. Nearly every western Oklahoma county is included in the SAFE Area, with some eastern Oklahoma counties also included (see above map).
Your local USDA field office can provide further information about CRP SAFE and other program opportunities that benefit wildlife. In addition, information about the benefits of CRP SAFE for wildlife is available by visiting our landowner program page.
Farm the best, CRP the rest!