University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP)

The goal of California 4-H WHEP is to help participants develop an awareness of the environment and its associated problems.  WHEP aims to engage those with knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.

The objectives of California 4-H WHEP are:

  • To explore wildlife management practices through experiential application

  • To initiate the development of life skills in order to promote beneficial wildlife and environmental practices

  • To develop active leaders who model positive environmental behavior

WHEP is a hands-on environmental education program. WHEP participants learn about specific wildlife species and the foods they eat. They learn to judge the suitability of wildlife habitat species by analyzing aerial photos. Participants also study appropriate management practices and plans. Students in WHEP have a greater understanding of the value of land and how it can be managed to benefit wildlife and fish species. Participants also test their wildlife knowledge in state- and nation-wide contests. Any 4-H member ages 8-19 can enroll in WHEP, and anyone 20 and older can be a WHEP volunteer leader.

WHEP began in 1978 as a state-wide wildlife judging program in Tennessee. In 1989, "wildlife judging" went nationwide. The program was officially named WHEP in 1990, and in 1996, WHEP won The Wildlife Society's Conservation Education Award. Participation in WHEP grew from 5 states in 1989 to 26 states in 1997. About 10,000 4-Hers nationwide participate in WHEP currently, and the number continues to increase.

California WHEP flier and overview
Learn more about WHEP at the national program website.


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