Montana has lost a significant amount of CRP in recent years, and more is scheduled to expire in the near future. Open Fields works with landowners to conserve CRP and associated quality habitats that provide important cover for Montana’s game birds. Conservation-incentive programs like Open Fields are geared to help landowners keep some land enrolled in CRP. Lands enrolled in Open Fields are open to free public walk-in game bird hunting with no further permission required.
Landowners may enroll up to 160 CRP acres per application. More than one application may be submitted if the CRP is located on separate, unique parcels of land.
Leases do not allow for emergency haying or grazing that is in addition to scheduled maintenance.
All enrolled acres are open to free walk-in public access for game bird hunting with no further permission needed.
Landowners receive a one-time lease payment of $5.00 per CRP acre (160 acre maximum per contract) for each year that remains in their CRP contract. For example, If 160 acres of CRP are enrolled for 10 years, the landowner receives an upfront payment of $8,000 in return for managing the CRP as outlined above.
Open Fields contracts begin September 1 and end January 1 of the year the CRP expires.
Enrollment in Open Fields is voluntary and competitive. All applications will undergo a review and scoring process by FWP staff. Contracts will be awarded based on evaluation scores and available funding. FWP will alert applicants of their status in April 2016.
Applications must be postmarked no later than March 7, 2016.
For more information:
Since 2012, nearly 150 private landowners have enrolled approximately 44,000 acres of CRP with other quality habitats!