Landowner Assistance Program Services

How We Work With You

Here are private landowner tools available through and/or supported by the FWC's Landowner Assistance Program (LAP).

Education and Outreach | Land Conservation | Property Tax Incentives | Technical Assistance | Financial Assistance | Easement Programs | Other Opportunities | Recognition Programs

Program

Purpose

Education and Outreach

Habitat Management Workshops and Field Days

Offered year round to the public. Provides educational information and learning opportunities about habitat management. LAP staff helps organize and implement at least 10 workshops statewide every year. If interested in attending a workshop or field day, please visit the website and/or contact an LAP biologist.

Florida Forest Steward Newsletter

The newsletter is produced quarterly and intended to provide landowners with current and useful information on land management from a multiple-use perspective. The newsletter is free of charge.

Wildlife Habitat Management Calendar

The calendar provides monthly habitat management tips and reminders for landowners in Florida. Visit the web link to download a copy or contact an LAP biologist to request a hardcopy.

Electronic Data Information Source - UF/IFAS Extension

A collection of information on topics relevant to you: profitable and sustainable agriculture, our environment and natural resources, youth programs, FL-friendly landscapes, and much more. Try a search!

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Land Conservation

Conservation Easements or Conservation Easements

A voluntary option for conserving your property forever. LAP staff can provide information on local land trusts available to help landowners explore easement options.

Florida Forever Program

A conservation land buying program administered by the Division of State Lands. LAP biologists can assist with evaluation of specific areas targeted for acquisition.

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Property Tax Incentives

DR - 418c (Conservation Exemption) Export Word File

This law provides full property tax exemption for land dedicated in perpetuity and used exclusively for conservation purposes. Applications and supporting documents are due to your property appraiser before March 1st.

D R - 482c (Conservation Assessment) Adobe PDF

This law provides a partial property tax exemption (up to 50%) for conservation land that is used for commercial purposes such as agriculture. Applications and supporting documents are due to your property appraiser before March 1st.

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Technical Assistance

General Technical Assistance

LAP biologists are available to provide general technical assistance related to wildlife-habitat management. Please contact an LAP biologist if you are in need of general technical assistance for your property.

Florida Wildlife Conservation Guide

An online resource which facilitates effective land use planning, project design, and habitat management while conserving the rural and environmentally sensitive areas important to Florida's fish and wildlife species.

Conservation Technical Assistance Program (CTA)

Administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Conservation Technical Assistance Program provides technical assistance supported by science-based technology and tools to help landowners conserve, maintain, and improve their natural resources. The Program provides the technical capability, including direct conservation planning, design, and implementation assistance that consider soil, water, air, plants, and animals. LAP staff helps implement the Conservation Technical Assistance Program and can provide more detailed information on how this program can help you.

Forest Stewardship Program (FSP)

Administered by Florida Forest Service. The Forest Stewardship Program seeks to help private landowners develop a plan designed to increase the economic value of their forestland while maintaining its environmental integrity for future generations. Stewardship is based on the multiple-use land strategy. Please visit the website to learn more about the program and how to apply. LAP staff helps implement the Forest Stewardship Program and can provide more detailed information as needed.

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Financial Assistance

Landowner Assistance Program (LAP)

Administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The purpose of LAP is to improve habitat conditions for wildlife by focusing conservation efforts on high priority habitats outlined in Florida's Wildlife Action Plan. LAP biologists make specific recommendations (i.e. prescribed burning, ground cover restoration, etc.) that can be cost-shared to restore and conserve degraded habitats such as sandhill and scrub. An application will need to be filled out.

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW)

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Provides technical and up to 50 percent cost-share assistance to private landowners and other partners who conduct habitat restoration and improvement activities on their land. The focus of the program in Florida is on restoration of native habitats, restoration of degraded streams and wetlands, and eradication of invasive, exotic species. Please visit the website or contact an LAP biologist for more information.

 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

 

See also CIG

Administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation or improved or created wildlife habitat. LAP staff helps implement EQIP and can provide more information as needed. Please visit the website to determine eligibility and contact your local NRCS agent or an LAP biologist if interested in enrolling.

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Easement Programs

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency. Provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Please visit the website to determine eligibility and contact your local NRCS agent or an LAP biologist if interested in enrolling.

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands. Please visit the website to determine eligibility and contact your local NRCS agent or an LAP biologist if interested in enrolling.

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Other Opportunities

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

Defines and rewards those farmers and ranchers (producers) who meet the highest standards of conservation and management on their operations. Please check the website or contact your local NRCS agent or an LAP biologist for more details on the program and targeted watersheds this year.

Conservation Cooperatives

Creating a cooperative helps coordinate conservation efforts on a landscape level while providing multiple benefits to participating landowners (public and private) such as: increased communication, tool sharing, work days, dedicated assistance from resource professionals, etc. Contact an LAP biologist to learn about existing cooperatives and/or how to create a cooperative in your area.

Ecosystem Restoration Partnership Teams

NW FL Ecosystem Restoration Partnership Teams

NC FL: N/A Lake Wales Ridge Scrub Ecosystem Restoration Partnership Teams

Administered by The Nature Conservancy (TNC).These teams are being made available to assist landowners directly on-the-ground with habitat management efforts such as prescribed burning and invasive/exotic plant removal. LAP biologists can help direct landowners to these sources of assistance. Please check the websites to find out more information.

Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site Program

FWC administers the statewide gopher tortoise management plan and accepts applications from eligible landowners who are interested in becoming a gopher tortoise recipient site. Please visit the website for additional information and application details.

Safe Harbor Program

Participating landowners are relieved of regulatory concerns regarding endangered species land management when agreeing to manage for the species' net benefit. Please visit the website for more information and contact an LAP biologist if interested.

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Recognition Programs

Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award

Administered by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Nominations must be submitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This national award is presented annually to one landowner.
Landowner Assistance Program Certification Administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Wildlife Friendly Designation Program Administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and offered for "developments."

Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award

Administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) Certification

Administered by the Florida Forest Service.

Wild Turkey Woodlands Program

Administered by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Gopher Tortoise Conservation Awareness

Administered by the American Forest Foundation, Forests for Watersheds and Wildlife Program.

Certified Family Forest

Administered by the American Tree Farm System.

Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program or Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program

Administered by the National Wildlife Federation and the Florida Wildlife Extension.

For assistance with any of these programs or additional inquires please contact us or call the Landowner Assistance Program coordinator at 850-488-3831.

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FWC Facts:
Florida is a peninsula, which contributes to the number of invasive species affecting our ecosystem.

Learn More at AskFWC