The Secretary, in consultation with the State technical committees established under section
3861 of this title, shall establish within the Natural Resources Conservation Service a program to be known as the wildlife habitat incentive program (referred to in this section as the “program”) for the development of wildlife habitat on private agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and tribal lands.
(b) Cost-share payments
(1) In general
Under the program, the Secretary shall make cost-share payments to owners of lands referred to in subsection (a) to develop—
(A)upland wildlife habitat;
(B)wetland wildlife habitat;
(C)habitat for threatened and endangered species;
(D)fish habitat; and
(E)other types of wildlife habitat approved by the Secretary, including habitat developed on pivot corners and irregular areas.
(2) Increased cost share for long-term agreements
(A) In general
In a case in which the Secretary enters into an agreement or contract to protect and restore plant and animal habitat that has a term of at least 15 years, the Secretary may provide cost-share payments in addition to amounts provided under paragraph (1).
(B) Funding limitation
The Secretary may use, for a fiscal year, not more than 25 percent of funds made available under section
3841(a)(7) of this title for the fiscal year to carry out contracts and agreements described in subparagraph (A).
(c) Regional equity
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that regional issues of concern relating to wildlife habitat are addressed in an appropriate manner.
(d) Priority for certain conservation initiatives
In carrying out this section, the Secretary may give priority to projects that would address issues raised by State, regional, and national conservation initiatives.
(e) Payment limitation
Payments made to a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly, under the program may not exceed, in the aggregate, $50,000 per year.
2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, § 2602(a)(1), inserted “for the development of wildlife habitat on private agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and tribal lands” before period at end.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, § 2602(a)(2), substituted “owners of lands referred to in subsection (a)” for “landowners” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (b)(1)(E). Pub. L. 110–246, § 2602(b), inserted “, including habitat developed on pivot corners and irregular areas” before period at end.
Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 110–246, § 2602(c), substituted “25 percent” for “15 percent”.
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