March 15 deadline for Wetlands Reserve Program

Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:12 am

Missouri landowners interested in participating in the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) should apply by March 15 to be considered for the next round of funding, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced.

WRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties. NRCS provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts.

By signing WRP easements, landowners receive cash payments in exchange for restoring or converting marginal agricultural land to shallow wetland areas. They also agree to maintain the new or restored wetlands.

NRCS’ goal is to achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat, on every acre enrolled in the program.

Karen Brinkman, NRCS acting state conservationist, says funding for this round of application ranking is not guaranteed, and could be extremely limited.

“The highest-ranking applications always receive priority consideration for funding,” Brinkman says. “We might not be able to fund many applications this time, and possibly none. But applications not funded this time will be kept on file for later consideration.”

To sign up for WRP or to get more information about it and other NRCS programs, contact the NRCS office located in the USDA Service Center in your county.