Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Funding is Available for Wetlands Conservation on Private Agricultural Land

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation is soliciting applications from landowners interested in restoring or enhancing wetlands on private agricultural land in Louisiana through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

The Wetlands Reserve Program provides financial incentives to landowners to restore their land to its natural wetland condition with an emphasis on enhancing wildlife habitats and environmental benefits.

Landowners have several options for enrollment in WRP. Options include restoration cost-share agreements, 30-year conservation easements, and permanent conservation easements—all designed to help landowners achieve personal land use goals.

The Wetlands Reserve Program is a national program authorized by the Farm Bill to assist eligible landowners restore, create, protect, and enhance wetlands on their property. Participation in this program is voluntary, and restoration is accomplished in an environmentally safe, cost-effective manner. Eligible lands are generally limited to existing pastureland or cropland with a predominance of wetland soils. Incidental acres of other lands (woodland) are considered when they are within pastureland or cropland applications.

Easement payments are based on the lowest of either the fair market value of the land using an appraisal or area-wide analysis, the Geographic Area Rate Cap, or an offer made by the landowner. The current Geographic Area Rate Cap for Caldwell, Jackson and Winn Parish is $1300 per acre.

Interested landowners are encouraged to contact the Dugdemona SWCD office at 318-628-4438, or the Natchitoches NRCS Field Office at 318-357-8366, ext 3, or the Ruston NRCS Field Office at 318-255-3136, ext 3, or the Columbia NRCS Field Office at 318-649-2651, ext 3 or stop by the Dugdemona SWCD office at 301 West Main Street, Suite 210, Winnfield, LA

Program information is also available online at: http://www.la.nrcs.usda.gov/

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is an equal opportunity provider and employer.