Monday, July 2, 2012

Now Accepting Applications for WRP


First Application Period for FY 2013 Funding Ends July 25, 2012

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 first application period for Fiscal Year 2013 WRP funding ends July 25, 2012, and interested agricultural producers are encouraged to visit the one of the field offices servicing the Dugdemona SWCD (Winn Parish- Natchitoches Field Office, Jackson Parish- Ruston Field Office and for Caldwell Parish the Columbia Field Office) or the Dugdemona SWCD Office in Winnfield) as soon as possible to begin the application process.

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. Participation in this program is voluntary, and restoration is accomplished in an environmentally safe, cost-effective manner.

“WRP is a popular program for farmers looking to conserve marginal cropland,” said Glenn Austin, District Conservationist in the Natchitoches Field Office. “NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through WRP to convert marginal or unproductive croplands to wildlife friendly habitats, and we guide landowners through all stages of the restoration process.”

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

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 the Dugdemona SWCD which includes all of Jackson and Winn Parishes and Caldwell Parish west of the Ouachita River is $1,400/ acre.

Interested agricultural producers are encouraged to contact the local USDA Service Center/Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office today to apply for Fiscal Year 2013 funding. You may contact the Natchitoches Field office at 318-357-8366 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 6949 Hwy 1 Bypass, Natchitoches, LA 71457 for assistance for Winn Parish; Contact the Ruston Field Office at 318-255-3136 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 1412 Celebrity Drive, Ruston, LA 71270 for assistance in Jackson Parish; Contact the Columbia Field Office at 318-649-2651 ext. 3 or stop by the office at 7128 Hwy 165, Columbia, LA 71418 for assistance in Caldwell Parish; Or you may contact the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District Office at 318-628-4438 or stop by our office at 301 West Main Street, Suite 210, Winnfield, LA 71483 (Located upstairs above the Winn Parish Health Unit).

Program information is also available online at:

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).