Public Opportunities for Wildlife-Related Recreation (POWRR) is a replacement and expansion of the Public Access for Outdoor Sportsman (PALS) program in Virginia. The program’s intent is to provide public access for wildlife-related recreation through lease agreements on private property. This program expansion is possible because of funding through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). This USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program provides funding for state and tribal governments to open access on private property to public use for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation. The funding provided by VPA-HIP compensates landowners for providing public access and can also be used to implement habitat management practices on enrolled acres.
The VPA-HIP grant funding will be focused in the Coalfields region of Southwest Virginia. This new project will enable the Department of Wildlife Resources to not only expand the acres in its existing Public Opportunities for Wildlife-related Recreation (POWRR, formerly PALS) program but also encompass a wider variety of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities.