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Landowner Incentives

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is engaging in a public process to explore opportunities for how we can expand incentives for voluntary partnerships with private landowners and other land stewards to help conserve imperiled wildlife. This effort is part of our commitment to use innovative approaches to restore and protect the habitats for wildlife, improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and to strengthen local economies by preserving working lands.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife
Partners for Fish and Wildlife

We requested suggestions and input from the public on ways we can make existing conservation tools more effective, such as Habitat Conservation Plans, Safe Harbor Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. We also sought input on how to improve incentives, such as pre-approved conservation credits, for landowners and others to take voluntary conservation actions beneficial to species that are candidates for addition to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, and for other at-risk species.


Service Director Dan Ashe's quote

A team of Service and State wildlife agency staff reviewed the comments received, compiled a list of actions and have prioritized actions and are now identifying the best way to implement them.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to working with landowners to reverse species declines whenever possible. Early and effective actions to address threats to imperiled species, like voluntary habitat conservation plans, could lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine that a species does not require the protections of the ESA.

View the News Release

Read the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Expanding Incentives for Voluntary Conservation Actions under the Endangered Species Act

To see what stakeholders submitted in response to the advanced notice go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  Search for “Expanding Incentives for Voluntary Conservation” 


Learn More About Candidate Conservation


New England Cottontail

New England cottontail

Cottontail released after recorded
for tracking purposes in Rhode Island

Credit: Anne Schnell

An agreement between the
Service and the State of New Hampshire will help restore habitat on private and state-
owned lands for the New England cottontail, which was named a candidate for Endangered
Species Act protection in 2006. Learn more about the agreement.



Last updated: October 2, 2014