The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program.
A new round of funding authorizes $4,717,500 for the WRP and $108 million for the WREP.
State Conservationist Jane Hardisty encourages landowners to think about these easement programs if they have wetlands on their property. “The benefits of these reserved wetlands reach well beyond their boundaries,” said Hardisty. “Wetlands help filter and cleanse water; prevent flooding in local communities by holding water; provide critical wildlife habitat; and they improve the economies of local communities.”
Anyone interested in these voluntary programs should contact an NRCS office. Indiana began reviewing applications Friday and will continue through the summer as funds are available.
The Wetlands Reserve Program helps landowners restore and protect wetland ecosystems on private and tribal lands. They may select either a permanent or 30-year easement, retaining ownership of the land once the easement is in place. More than 60,000 acres of wetlands have been enrolled already in Indiana.
The Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program is a partnership project with The Nature Conservancy designed to protect lands along the Wabash River, targeting Warren, Fountain, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Sullivan, Knox, Gibson and Posey counties in the southwest, and Whitley, Allen, Huntington, Wells, Adams and Jay counties in the northeast.
For more information visit www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp. To locate the NRCS office visit www.in.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/field_offices.html.