Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
Due to the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill, WRP sign-ups for FY 2014 will not be held until further notice.
The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program that assists landowners in restoring, protecting, and enhancing wetlands on eligible private or tribal lands while maximizing wildlife habitat benefits. The emphasis of WRP is to protect, restore, and enhance functions and values of wetland ecosystems on privately owned lands to attain habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife and protection and improvement of water quality. Agricultural production ceases from lands enrolled in WRP, but WRP lands are usually marginal agricultural lands poorly suited for efficient agricultural productions.
Landowners who can provide clear title on privately owned lands and proof that the land has been owned for at least 7 years (or proof of adequate assurances the land was not acquired for the purpose of enrolling in WRP) are eligible to participate in WRP. The typical WRP site is a predominately level, low-lying area of cropland (may include areas of pastureland and woodland,) usually farmed wetlands or converted wetlands and also include functionally necessary adjacent uplands. The wetlands are required to have hydric soils; the adjacent uplands are included to protect the integrity of the restored wetland, and may have a variety of upland soil types. Under WRP, the wetland to upland buffer ratio can be as high as 1:1.
WRP Enrollment Options
Permanent Easement: A conservation easement in perpetuity. USDA pays 100 percent of the easement value (calculated by Geographic Area) and up to 100 percent of the restoration costs.
30-year Easement: A conservation easement that expires after 30 years. USDA pays 75 percent of the easement value (calculated by Geographic Area) and up to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
Restoration cost-share agreement: Financial Assistance agreements designed to restore and enhance wetland functions and values. No conservation easement. Contracts are a minimum of 10 years. USDA pays up to 75 percent of restoration costs. Payments may not exceed $50,000 per year.
Additional information on WRP for FY 2013:
Conservation Program Application (PDF)
WRP Ga Supplement (PDF)
WRP Application Checklist (PDF)
WRP Geographic Area Rate Cap(GARC)/Market Values (PDF)
WRP GARC Payment Reduction Waiver (PDF)
WRP Notification to Landowner (PDF)
WRP 2013 Ranking (PDF)
DRAFT 2014 WRP GARC (PDF)
Or visit the USDA-NRCS National WRP page.
For More Information, Contact your local NRCS office or:
Conservation Easement Specialist
(706) 546- 2272