Our mission is to plan for and facilitate bird habitat conservation, research, and outreach in an effort to ensure sustainable populations of priority bird species in the Edwards Plateau and Oaks and Prairies Bird Conservation Regions in Oklahoma and Texas.
Grassland Restoration Incentive Program
For more than 50 years grassland bird populations throughout Oklahoma and Texas have been steadily declining. Among these declining birds is the Northern Bobwhite, a popular game bird and an icon of the American south. Since 1966, the population of Northern Bobwhite in the Oaks & Prairies Joint Venture (OPJV) has decreased by over 90% (-4.55% annually). There are many factors that contribute Northern Bobwhite and other species' population declines, but the primary cause is the loss of available suitable habitat needed to sustain these species. Conversion of native grasses to introduced pasture, overgrazing, suppression of fire, and brush encroachment have all had a significant impact on the ability of grasslands to provide for the needs of Northern Bobwhite and other grassland species. To address these drastic population declines, it is crucial that private landowners are encouraged and supported in their efforts to improve habitat for these birds on the lands they own and manage.
The OPJV partnerships’ Grassland Restoration Incentive Program (GRIP) is a multi-organization effort aimed at achieving OPJV grassland bird objectives in focus areas throughout the Oaks and Prairies Ecoregion of Texas and Oklahoma. Since 2013, GRIP has provided funding in the form of direct payment to landowners as an incentive for conducting approved grassland bird habitat improvement practices on their property. Project proposals are prepared and submitted in coordination with local OPJV partner staff (e.g., Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, NRCS or other OPJV partner organization personnel) working with individual landowners. Approved projects will meet eligibility requirements established by OPJV local initiative teams. Payments are made to landowners for approved practices after completion of work is certified by coordinating partner organization staff. Participating landowners are asked to allow geospatial, vegetative, and bird data to be collected and recorded by OPJV partner organization staff for an agreed-upon period of time (entrance onto property subject to landowner approval).
GRIP Eligible Counties
Cross Timbers Focus Area: Jefferson, Love, Carter, Murray, Johnston, Ponotoc
Tallgrass Prairie Focus Area: Pawnee, Osage, Nowata, Craig
Oklahoma OPJV CONTACT: Kenneth Gee
NORTH TEXAS COUNTIES
Texas Rolling Plains Focus Area: Montague, Clay, Archer, Baylor, Throckmorton, Shackelford, Stephens, and Callahan
Northeast Texas OPJV Focus area: Fannin, Hunt, Delta, Lamar, Red River
North Texas OPJV CONTACTS: Derek Wiley & Kenneth Gee
SOUTH TEXAS COUNTIES
Edwards Plateau Focus Area: Edwards, Real, Kinney, Uvalde, Val Verde
Western Navarro Bobwhite Restoration Initiative Focus Area: Navarro and Ellis
Southern Texas OPJV Focus Area: Washington, Austin, Fayette, Colorado and Lavaca, Gonzales, Dewitt, Karnes and Wilson
South Texas OPJV CONTACTS: Ty Higginbotham & Amber Brown
For more detailed information about GRIP and to see the latest updates, click the button below to check out the GRIP Story Map.
For more info, contact your local OPJV staff listed above, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists.
Don’t know your local TPWD biologist? Click the button below or search “TPWD find a biologist” in your web browser.