Habitat for Wildlife: The Maryland Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)


The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications.

Program Overview

Maryland’s Landowner Incentive Program was a competitive grant program that offered assistance to private landowners to protect, enhance, and restore habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species. Through partnerships between federal and state government, private landowners, and other organizations, Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff provided landowners technical and financial assistance to help conserve habitat for species-at-risk across the state. The program was funded by a one-time grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and administered by the Wildlife & Heritage Service at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

At the time the program was implemented, Maryland had identified over 600 “species at risk,” including 455 plants and 152 animal species considered rare, threatened, endangered, or otherwise in need of conservation. Twenty nine of these species were federally listed as Threatened or Endangered. The Landowner Incentive Program restored habitat to benefit nearly 200 of these species in projects across the state.

Habitat Restoration Projects

Maryland’s Landowner Incentive Program filled an important role in bridging the gap between private ownership of land and public-funded conservation of rare species. Target habitats for funding included stream systems, shale barrens & glades, cliffs & rock outcrops, caves, mature forests, cypress & Atlantic cedar swamps, xeric sand ridges, fens & seepage wetlands, groundwater interfacing wetlands, tidal marshes, and grassland habitats. Restoration activities included forested and warm-season grass buffer establishment, reforestation, invasive species removal, vegetation management, livestock fencing, and restoration of wetland hydrology.

At this time, we do not anticipate receiving additional restoration funding in the foreseeable future.