Wetland restoration funds available through partnership
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District has begun accepting sign-ups for a Reinvest in Minnesota Wetlands Reserve Program partnership. The program offers competitive payment rates for landowners to restore wetlands that have been drained and have a history of being used for agricultural production. The program is a local-state-federal partnership that combines the state's Reinvest in Minnesota conservation easement program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wetlands Reserve Program.
Combining the two easement programs allows state funds to leverage federal funds that are available through the federal farm bill. Wetlands provide many public benefits, such as enhancing wildlife habitat, improving water quality and reducing potential flood damage in targeted areas," said Ryan Peterson, Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District's coordinator for Reinvest in Minnesota.
Minnesota received 20 percent of the federal Wetlands Reserve Program funds that were available nationwide through the program in 2008. "We'd like to build on the success of the 2008 sign-up and are taking this opportunity to reach out to the landowners in Kandiyohi SWCD to make sure they're aware of this important program," Peterson said.
The sign-up period continues through June 5. Priority is given to areas of Minnesota that have experienced the greatest wetland losses.
Competitive payment rates have been established for this partnership using township average land values.
Interested landowners should contact the Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation Service staff at their local USDA Service Center at 320-235-3906, ext 3.