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News Release

USDA Announces New Conservation Assistance - Funding Applications Due by February 10, 2012

News Release - Indiana

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

6013 Lakeside Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN  46278
www.in.nrcs.usda.gov

Indianapolis, IN, January 23 – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Indiana State Conservationist, Jane Hardisty, announced today the availability of funding for the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) to enter into agreements with partners to protect wetlands and restore, enhance, protect, and manage wildlife habitat.

According to Hardisty, “Indiana first piloted this approach to wetland restoration with our partners in 2005, with work along the Wabash and in the Limberlost area. In 2011, we funded two more partner projects in both the lower and upper Wabash River, for a total of $2.9 million NRCS funds invested in Indiana’s wetland projects. This cooperative approach to restoration results in better flood protection, cleaner water, more wildlife habitat, additional recreational opportunities, and the protection of threatened and endangered species. WREP is an important conservation tool and I encourage our partners to participate.” 

WREP is a voluntary conservation program that works through partnership agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations, not for profit organizations, and tribes. It is a component of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). Through targeted WREP projects, Wetlands Reserve Program dollars are made available directly to landowners for permanent or 30-year easements and/or restoration cost-share agreements which can help them deal with cropping challenges in frequently flooded areas while improving water quality.

Partners will be required to bring resources to the cost of the project through in-kind and/or cash contributions toward restoration costs. Proposals that go above and beyond required contributions will be given higher consideration.  Eligible partners may submit proposals for individual projects, watershed-wide or larger geographical area to the Indiana NRCS office, 6013 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN by 4:00 p.m. on February 10, 2012. Proposals submitted by fax or through the www.grants.gov website will NOT be accepted. 

Proposals will be evaluated by Indiana NRCS staff using a competitive process. Recommendations for funding will be forwarded to the national NRCS office for review, ranking, and final selection. 

 

For information about the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/easements/wetlands , or visit the nearest USDA Service Center in your area.  To locate your nearest NRCS office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs.

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Contacts:

Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist, 317.290.3200 x 301 (jane.hardisty@in.usda.gov)

Jill Reinhart, Asst. State Conservationist, 317.290.3200 x383 (jill.reinhart@in.usda.gov)

Rebecca Fletcher, State Public Affairs Specialist, 317.290.3200 x 325 (rebecca.fletcher@in.usda.gov)

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