Beginning March 1, the USDA and the State of Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will begin taking applications to enroll land into the Wetlands Reserve Program/Reinvest in Minnesota conservation easement program.
The federal WRP program has been paired with the state Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) easement program in recent years. It now combines a 30-year WRP easement through the federal government with a permanent RIM easement through the state. With the WRP/RIM partnership program landowners will receive better payments then if the programs were still on their own. Applicants can receive up to 125 percent of township average assessed tillable value for cropped acres and up to 70 percent for non-cropland. WRP/RIM also provides 100 percent cost share to restore wetlands and surrounding uplands to native prairie. WRP/RIM will take up to four acres of upland to every acre of restorable wetland (4:1).
The landowner continues to maintain ownership and control of access. The land can be used for hunting, trapping and other recreational uses. Landowners can sell or lease land that has been enrolled into the program with the understanding that all easement conditions go along with the lease or sale.
To be eligible, applicants must have seven years of ownership at the time of application. Cropland, CRP, and pasture acres containing drained or partially drained wetlands are eligible. Wetlands that have been previously restored are also eligible. Existing wetlands can be placed into the program as well, however if the existing wetland is a MN DNR protected water, no payment will be received on those acres.
The enrollment period will last for approximately 30 days. For more information on the program and township payment rates, or to apply for the WRP/RIM program, contact DU Biologist Shaun McNally at (320) 589-4886 ext. 3, or stop by the USDA service center in Morris.
The mission of the Natural Resource Conservation Service is to provide USDA technical leadership, working in partnership with local, state, and other federal conservation agencies and organizations, to help people conserve, improve and sustain our natural resources. USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.