Bozeman, Mont., June 22, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is making $17.5 million in financial and technical assistance available nationwide to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands.
Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). Under WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with USDA through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with willing tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.
The voluntary nature of NRCS’s easement programs allows effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.
Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by July 31, 2015. Projects can range from individual to watershed-wide to ecosystem-wide. The new collaborative WREP provides financial and technical assistance necessary for states, non-governmental organizations and tribes to leverage resources to restore and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat.
Through WREP, NRCS will sign multi-year agreements with partners to leverage resources, including funding. WREP partners are required to contribute a funding match for financial or technical assistance. These partners work directly with eligible landowners interested in enrolling their agricultural land into conservation wetland easements.
Visit NRCS’s ACEP webpage to learn more about NRCS’s wetland conservation options.
Source: USDA NRCS Montana