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Working Lands Program

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Working Lands Program

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The Working Lands Program recognizes and rewards landowners for conservation practices and activities that have a positive impact on wildlife habitat on active agricultural lands.

General Program Guidelines

Department biologists evaluate habitat and land use features:

  • Size of tract – priority given to offers greater than 80 acres in size.
  • Priority areas - tracts offered in statewide or district priority areas receive additional consideration.
  • Proximity to other accessible public or private and specific priority areas of the state.
  • Habitat development – additional consideration given to producers willing to undertake a habitat development project.
  • Management practices – cropland and rangeland management systems favoring conservation.
  • Habitat evaluation – biologists evaluate habitat and land use features such as habitat type and quality, conservation and management practices, habitat development potential and size and location of the tract. The more habitat features and conservation effort, the more attractive the tract of land is for the program.

Payment Rates

  • Payments determined after a biologist conducts a habitat evaluation.
  • Agreement length - minimum of two years.
  • Landowner may receive additional incentive payments if offer is based in priority area. Landowner may also receive cost-share for implementing new conservation practices or developing habitat.

Landowner must agree to:

  • Maintain or improve the agreed-upon farming or ranching conservation activities for the term of the agreement.
  • Allow walk-in public access to the land enrolled in the program (does not pertain to motorized vehicle use, trapping or any other nonhunting activities).
  • Allow the Department to sign and publicize the tract open to walk-in hunting.