MN Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Minnesota


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Dec 29, 2018

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Minnesota

Location of residency: Minnesota

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Overview:

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland reserve easement.

Permanent Easements – Permanent Easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement. Additionally, NRCS pays between 75 to 100 percent of the restoration costs. NRCS also pays all costs associated with recording the easement in the local land records office, including recording fees, charges for abstracts, survey and appraisal fees, and title insurance.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. 
  • To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan.
    • This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

Preferences:

  • NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Ineligibility:

  • No payment will be approved for the current year if NRCS determines that any of the following conditions exist: 
    • The landowner or operator has not given the tenants that have an interest in land with a lease that runs through the contract term at the time of signup and that has not been properly ended or modified, and would interfere with the landowner’s ability to implement the WRPO or the terms of this Contract. 
    • The landowner has adopted any other scheme or device for the purpose of depriving any tenant of any benefits to which such tenant would otherwise be entitled. 
  • The landowner will not be eligible for Contract payments for any of the following: 
    • practices that are required to meet HELC and WC compliance requirements found in 7 CFR Part 12
    • practices included in maintenance agreements (with financial reimbursements for maintenance) that existed prior to participation
    • a non-land-based structure that is not integral to a land-based practice
    • Practices that were initiated or implemented prior to Contract approval, unless a waiver was granted by the State Conservationist prior to the practice implementation.
    • Practices for which there is no cost incurred or income foregone by the landowner..