There are a variety of programs that exist to help carry the financial burden of implementing new land management techniques that aid in the service of natural resource conservation. The Center is here to help you navigate these programs. Application is easy with our streamlined portal. Apply one time and our habitat specialist will contact you with information about which programs may best fit your needs.

The Borderlands Research Institute is now accepting applications for cost share programs.

Apply once through our convenient application portal and a habitat specialist will match you up with any eligible programs.

Trans-Pecos Grasslands and Riparian Conservation Initiative

In 2023, Sul Ross State University and the Borderlands Research Institute were awarded a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grant that will provide over $2 million of Pittman-Robertson funds to cost-share work to enhance habitat on private lands for the benefit of native wildlife. These funds are a result of the Pittman-Robertson act of 1937 that places a federal tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition to help fund wildlife conservation in the United States.

The goal of this grant is to implement landscape-level conservation projects for grassland and riparian habitats throughout the region. Grassland projects will focus on areas of existing pronghorn habitat. Practices that will be cost-shared include, but are not limited to, chemical and mechanical brush management, aeration or roller chopping, and construction of pronghorn-friendly fences.

Riparian activities will focus on the following creeks, draws, and their associated tributaries: Alamito, Ash, Calamity, Terlingua, Maravillas, Santiago Draw, Coyanosa and Hackberry Draws, Barilla Draw, Toyah, Limpia, and other streams of the Davis Mountains. Riparian projects will seek to aid in the restoration of creek function through practices such as filter dams, re-establishment of native vegetation, protective fencing, other erosion control measures, and brush management in the surrounding uplands.

Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership

The Borderlands Research Institute is now accepting applications for its Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership program. The application period is currently open.

The Borderlands Research Institute, along with the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (TALT), have joined forces with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement landscape-scale conservation initiatives across the Greater Big Bend Region of West Texas. The effort is fueled by a $3.5 million commitment from the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which will help fund innovative conservation approaches on private lands, including habitat restoration efforts, conservation easements, and ecosystem services compensation.

The Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership is a cost share program that will reimburse approximately 50% of the overall cost of qualified conservation practices to selected landowners. Eligible activities include grassland restoration via brush management (both mechanical and chemical), riparian restoration, and construction of wildlife friendly fencing. This initiative has no Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) restriction and is available to landowners in Brewster, Jeff Davis, and Presidio Counties of Texas.

Participating cooperators must be willing to allow limited access (with landowner approval and coordination) to BRI and NRCS personnel to monitor approved projects for up to three years. Applicants must either currently have (or be willing to establish) a Farm Record with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to be eligible for this cost-share opportunity. Please visit the FSA website to learn more about establishing a Farm Record.

The Greater Big Bend Conservation Partnership is managed by the BRI Center for Land Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement, which is responsible for implementing restoration and enhancement projects, as well as monitoring and evaluating projects. TALT personnel will provide the expertise for all conservation easement agreements, as well as evaluation of ecosystem services and assessing ecosystem services compensation options. Please visit the TALT website for more information on conservation easements or ecosystem service compensation.

The NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program funding provides opportunities for conservation partners to collaborate one-on-one with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners throughout the nation to implement systems that conserve water and soil resources, improve the health of wildlife habitats and increase climate resilience. RCPP partners offer value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding. To date, RCPP has leveraged partner contributions of more than $1 for every $1 invested by USDA, resulting in nearly $3 billion collectively invested in natural resource conservation on the nation’s private lands.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Partners for Habitat Program

Together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) we are offering 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.

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