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Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) - North Carolina

The Wetlands Reserve Program is a competitive program using a statewide ranking systems to fund the most environmentally beneficial projects. The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program that protects, restores and enhances wetlands, while maximizing wildlife benefits.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing that the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has been renewed through Title II of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, better known as the Farm Bill. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers WRP.

The provisions of the Farm Bill became effective October 1, 2008. Under the new bill there is a change in easement compensation. The change in easement compensation is to the lowest of the following: fair market value of the land enrolled based on either a Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices appraisal or market survey, geographic cap established by the Secretary, or the landowner offer. The WRP Geographic Area Rate Caps (GARC) in North Carolina varies between regions of the state and land uses.

To be eligible for WRP, land must be restorable and be suitable for wildlife benefits. Lands eligible for WRP are wetlands farmed under natural conditions; farmed wetlands; prior converted cropland; farmed wetland pasture; land that has become a wetland as a result of flooding, rangeland, pasture, or production forest land where the hydrology has been significantly degraded and can be restored; riparian areas which link protected wetlands; lands adjacent to protected wetlands that contribute significantly to wetland functions; and values and previously restored wetlands that need long-term protection.

Additional requirements for WRP are; land has not changes ownership in the past seven years, and landowner must meet adjusted gross income (AGI) and other criteria. Your local district conservationist can help you determine land and owner eligibility.

Through WRP, NRCS is committed to assisting all eligible applicants in the restoration, creation, protection and enhancement of wetlands on their property through a voluntary, environmentally safe and cost-effective manner. The application process for WRP is continuous throughout the year. NRCS is committed to delivering all Farm Bill programs authorized through the 2008 Farm Bill and is eager to consult all with interested parties about the many benefits that WRP and other programs have to offer.

Program Information

National WRP website

These documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

NRCS CPA-1200 Conservation Program Application (PDF; 95KB)

The following forms are available on the USDA Service Center e-Forms web site:

  • Form AD-1153, Application for Long-Term Contracted Assistance
  • Form AD-1159, Notice of Intent to Continue
  • Form AD-1161, Application for Payment

For other easement forms, please contact your local USDA Service Center.

Geographic Rate Caps (GARC)

A market analysis was recently completed by an independent appraiser for lands typically enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). Based on the results of the market analysis, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has established Geographic Area Rate Cap's (GARC's) which will be used as the basis for compensation of WRP easements enrolled for the 2012 program year. The GARC's were based on several factors including the physiographic region of the state and the current land use and cover.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Common Resource Area Map (PDF, 275KB)
NC Approved GARC (PDF, 12.2KB)

Program Contact

Angela Little, Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Easements and Water Resources
Phone:(919) 873-2103
FAX: (919) 873-2156