Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

NRCS Accepting Applications for Wetlands Reserve Easements

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking applications from Wisconsin landowners for its premiere wetland restoration program, the Wetlands Reserve Easement. Assistant State Conservationist Greg Kidd announced that applications are accepted year-round for funding.

“WRE has been available since 1992, and Wisconsin has over 600 wetlands restored and almost 60,000 acres enrolled in WRE,” Kidd said. “The Wetlands Reserve Program was established by the 1990 farm bill. The 2014 farm program realigned WRP, now called WRE and is under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

Wetland restorations are a popular, cost-effective, and ecologically successful voluntary wetlands restoration program. Kidd notes that WRE is a great opportunity for many landowners, particularly farmers who are thinking of retiring but don’t want to sell their land, or those who are interested in establishing some prime wildlife habitat.

Lawnowners can apply for a permanent easement, which pays 100 percent of the appraised agricultural land value; or a 30-year easement, which pays 75 percent. Farmers can maintain ownership of the land, access, and responsibility for taxes.

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Volume 16, Issue 15 | April 12, 2024

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