ALPINE, Texas – The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are partnering to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat on their land.
The Partners for Habitat Program will provide $150,000 of financial assistance directly to private landowners across the West Texas counties of Brewster, Terrell, Pecos, Reeves, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio.
“This new Partners for Habitat Program will provide some additional resources that West Texas landowners need to implement positive conservation practices on their properties,” said Billy Tarrant, Associate Director of Stewardship Services for BRI. “We’ll be accepting applications this fall, and will be providing more information about how to apply for this cost-share program by early August. We’re very proud to be partnering with the USFWS to provide this opportunity for West Texas landowners.”
The program is funded through the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, which has been providing funds for wildlife conservation on private land across the country since 1987. By partnering with BRI, the USFWS is leveraging BRI’s relationship with landowners across the Trans-Pecos.
“The Borderlands Research Institute has an established track record of effectively working with landowners across the region,” said Brendan Witt, a private lands biologist with the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. “More than 95% of land in Texas is privately owned, and providing these funds for habitat conservation on private lands will make a difference in terms of healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.”
Projects that will be funded include habitat enhancement and restoration actions that may include but are not limited to the following practices:
- Brush management (mechanical and chemical)
- Invasive species removal treatment
- Establishment of native vegetation
- Pollinator plantings
- Streamside management
- Erosion control practices
Landowners can apply for funding online from Sept. 1–Oct. 15. The projects will be ranked according to accepted criteria by BRI and USFWS. Selected recipients will be notified by the end of the year.
For more than a decade, the Borderlands Research Institute has encouraged effective land stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert. Housed at Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute builds on a long-lasting partnership with private landowners, the university’s Range and Wildlife Program, and cooperating state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, the Borderlands Research Institute is helping to conserve the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest.