Skip to main content
Go to search page


Pair of sharp-tailed grouse

Conservation > Habitat Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program

CRP Add-on Lease Option

FWP is pleased to announce an enrollment opportunity for lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)!  You can find a Fact Sheet on this Web page to learn more about Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program's (UGBEP) CRP Add-on Lease option, which may be a good fit if you currently have CRP land.

Agricultural producers with CRP located on private lands, including lands enrolled in FWP's Block Management Program, or State Trust Lands are eligible to apply. Producers actively enrolled in UGBEP's CRP agreements, including Open Fields, may apply to enroll additional CRP acres if enrollment acres are under the maximum 640 acres.

Highlights of the CRP Add-on Lease option include:

  • Enrollment of up to 640 CRP acres per contiguous parcel of private landownership or State Trust lease. More than one application may be submitted if land parcels or State Trust leases are at least ¼-mile apart.

  • Landowners receive an annual lease payment of $10 per CRP acre, up to $6,400 each year.

  • Enrolled acres are open to free public walk-in game bird hunting with no further permission.

    • The USDA recently announced a general CRP sign-up beginning March 4 through March 29. If you're interested in the FWP CRP Add-on Lease option, we encourage you to apply by April 19th (FWP deadline) even though you may not know your USDA enrollment status.


The deadline to submit your application(s) is Friday, April 19, 2024.


Send your application and maps by mail to:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
ATTN Debbie Hohler
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620


Or by email to Debbie Hohler, UGBEP Coordinator:

Hunter Surveys

Hunters!  FWP would like to hear about your experiences hunting on lands enrolled in the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program.  This survey takes about 5 minutes and your feedback will help with future program implementation. 

Did you know that Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters is also administered by the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program?  Since 2012, hunters have been providing their feedback and input on this popular project type.  Please consider taking this 5-minute survey so we can get your valuable feedback.  

Thank you, FWP values your input and time!

UGBEP Projects Access Guide

The 2024 UGBEP access guide will be available early August 2024.

About the Program

The goal of the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP) is to efficiently and responsibly conserve and enhance upland game bird habitats and populations, providing quality public hunting opportunities for present and future generations.

About Habitat Enhancement

Landowners can reap the rewards of a cost-sharing program when they improve their land and make it more inviting for Montana's upland game birds.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks can work directly with landowners-and other individuals, groups and organizations-to improve private and public lands for Montana's native sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse, and mountain grouse, as well as the state's adopted game birds-ring-necked pheasants, Hungarian Partridge, and wild turkeys.

Landowners can apply to enroll in the updated cost-share program to develop, enhance, and conserve Montana's upland game bird habitats if the land in the project area remains open to reasonable public hunting. Generally, up to 75% of the cost of the Landowner's Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement project can be reimbursed.


UGBHEP Brochure

Habitat Enhancement Eligibility

Projects eligible for funding under the Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement Program should comprise at least 100 contiguous acres of land, with some exceptions. Your FWP habitat specialist or wildlife biologist will help you determine if your land can be improved to offer upland game birds better:

  • Winter cover
  • Food plots
  • Nesting cover
  • Shelterbelts
  • Habitat components, including range management, conservation easements—and wetland restoration, for the benefit of upland game bird populations.

Habitat Enhancement Application

After you and FWP agree on how and where improvements can be made, your FWP wildlife biologists will:

  • Help you prepare management plans.
  • Lend a hand in your efforts to establish suitable nesting cover, winter cover, or feeding areas through cost-sharing leases, or conservation easements.
  • For more information call your nearest FWP office, or download the UGBHEP Enrollment Application Form

Pheasant and Turkey Releases

Open Fields Enrollment

Advisory Council

FWP appointed a 12-member advisory council to lead an effort to advise FWP on a long-term strategic plan for the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP); monitor program activities annually; and recommend appropriate rules for FWP to consider. Council membership includes upland game bird hunters, a chamber of commerce representative, conservationists, an upland game bird biologist, landowners, one of whom is enrolled in the Block Management program, and 2 state legislators.

Strategic Plan