Here's a program for you to consider if you farm land along rivers. The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana is offering sign-up for the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program, known as WREP, but applications are due Feb. 10. Becky Fletcher of NRCS made the announcement of behalf of Indiana NRCS state conservationist Jane Hardisty just recently.
Anyone who enters such an agreement is agreeing to work with the conservation partners in Indiana to protect wetlands, and restore, protect, enhance and manage wildlife habitat that accompanies it. Indiana piloted the program in 2005 with projects along the Wabash River and in the Limberlost area in northern Indiana. Two more projects were funded along both the upper and lower Wabash River in 2011. So far, Indiana has invested $2.9 million in these projects completed to date. The new announcement is for additional funding for new potential projects.
The program is voluntary. Landowners work through agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations, not for profits and more. This particular program falls under the Wetlands Reserve Program. The projects selected are typically targeted to where they will do the most good. Landowners receive payments, and the easements in this program are for either 30-years or else they are permanent.
Participants are expected to bring either in-kind contributions or cash as cost-share for these [projects. Those willing to contribute more than the minimum amount required of landowners to the effort will be given higher consideration, Fletcher notes. You can submit applications for an individual project or for an entire watershed, working with others.
The one quirk here is that the proposal must be in the NRCS office at the end of the day on Feb. 10. You can't fax a proposal, nor use www.grants.gov for this particular application.Learn more at: www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/easements/wetlands