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e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter VISubchapter DPart 636 → §636.4


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 636—WILDLIFE HABITAT INCENTIVE PROGRAM


§636.4   Program requirements.

(a) To participate in WHIP, an applicant must:

(1) Be in compliance with the highly erodible and wetland conservation provisions found in 7 CFR part 12;

(2) Be in compliance with the terms of all other USDA-administered conservation program contracts to which the participant is a party;

(3) Develop and agree to comply with a WHIP plan of operations and O&M agreement, as described in §636.8;

(4) Enter into a cost-share agreement for the development of fish and wildlife habitat as described in §636.9;

(5) Provide NRCS with written evidence of ownership or legal control of land for the term of the proposed cost-share agreement, including the O&M agreement. An exception may be made by the Chief in the case of land allotted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or Indian land where there is sufficient assurance of control;

(6) Agree to provide all information to NRCS determined to be necessary to assess the merits of a proposed project and to monitor cost-share agreement compliance;

(7) Agree to grant to NRCS or its representatives access to the land for purposes related to application, assessment, monitoring, enforcement, verification of certifications, or other actions required to implement this part;

(8) Provide a list of all members of the legal entity and embedded entities along with members' tax identification numbers and percentage interest in the entity. Where applicable, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders may use another unique identification number for each individual eligible for payment;

(9) With regard to cost-share agreements with individual Indians or Indians represented by the BIA, payments exceeding the payment limitation may be made to the tribal participant if a BIA or tribal official certifies in writing that no one individual, directly or indirectly, will receive more than the payment limitation. The BIA or tribal entity must also provide annually, a listing of individuals and payments made, by tax identification number or other unique identification number, during the previous year for calculation of overall payment limitations. The tribal entity must also produce, at the request of NRCS, proof of payments made to the person or legal entity that incurred costs related to conservation activity implementation;

(10) Supply information, as required by NRCS, to determine eligibility for the program including, but not limited to, information to verify the applicant's status as a limited resource farmer or rancher or beginning farmer or rancher and payment eligibility as established by 7 CFR part 1400, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI); and

(11) With regard to any participant that utilizes a unique identification number as an alternative to a tax identification number, the participant will utilize only that identifier for any and all other WHIP cost-share agreements to which the participant is a party. Violators will be considered to have provided fraudulent representation and are subject to §636.13.

(b) Eligible land includes:

(1) Private agricultural land;

(2) NIPF;

(3) Indian land; and

(4) Trust land owned in fee title by a State, including an agency or subdivision of a State, when such trust land is held under a long-term lease by a person or nongovernmental entity and when the Chief determines that (i) by the nature of the lease, such land is tantamount to private agricultural land; (ii) the duration of the lease is at least the length of any WHIP agreement; and (iii) no funds under the WHIP program are paid to a governmental entity.

(c) Ineligible land. NRCS will not provide cost-share assistance with respect to land:

(1) Enrolled in a program where fish and wildlife habitat objectives have been sufficiently achieved, as determined by NRCS;

(2) With onsite or offsite conditions which NRCS determines would undermine the benefits of the habitat development or otherwise reduce its value;

(3) On which habitat for threatened or endangered species, as defined in section 3 of the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1532, would be adversely affected; or

(4) That is owned in fee title by an agency of the United States, other than:

(i) Land held in trust for Indian tribes, and

(ii) Lands owned in fee title by a State, including an agency or subdivision of a State or a unit of government except as provided in §636.4(b)(4).

[75 FR 71338, Nov. 23, 2010, as amended at 83 FR 23208, May 18, 2018]

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