The nation's farmers, ranchers and Indian Tribes enrolled over 272,000 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program in fiscal year 2010. The enrollment is the highest single-year enrollment in the program's history and is a 52% increase over FY 2009 when 179,000 acres were enrolled. There are now more than 2.3 million acres enrolled in WRP nationwide.
In making the announcement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said through this historic enrollment in this proven conservation program, landowners and conservation partners are affirming their commitment to restoring and protecting the nation's wetland resources. Conservation-minded landowners are improving water quality, providing habitat for wildlife, mitigating floods and improving the overall environment for all Americans.
The Wetland Reserve Program is the federal government's largest wetlands restoration program. It provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Indian Tribes to restore protect and enhance wetlands that have been degraded or converted for agricultural uses. More than 80% of restorable wetlands are in private ownership.