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News Release

USDA Funds Special Wetlands Initiative in Red River Basin


June 8, 2011

For More Information:
Tasha Gibby, Public Affairs Specialist, 701-530-2072

BISMARCK �Up to $10 million will be available to help eligible landowners in three states reduce flooding, restore wetlands and enhance wildlife habitat in the Red River basin through the USDA� Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). WRP applications submitted by June 17, 2011, will be considered for funding.

WRP projects implemented through this special initiative will help alleviate hardships associated with overland flooding.

�his special initiative funding will expand the ability to mitigate flood damage within the basin by retaining higher levels of flood waters within the wetland easement acres,�said Jack Russell, acting state conservationist. �rojects funded through this initiative will reduce the costs to our rural private landowners who continue to experience severe damages during these flood events.�

USDA will provide the funding for this special WRP initiative in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This additional funding will allow the three states to accept new applications and fund more WRP easements. Restoring wetlands and associated uplands through this initiative will help retain and slow floodwaters in the Red River basin, while providing valuable wildlife habitat and reducing damages from severe flooding.

WRP, administered by USDA� Natural Resources Conservation Service, is the federal government� largest private lands wetlands restoration program. It provides voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands that have been degraded or converted to agricultural uses.

The Red River Retention Authority identified a critical need for targeted technical and financial assistance for eligible landowners in the watershed. WRP projects funded through this special initiative will result in long-term benefits to taxpayers by reducing funding spent by local and state governments to repair damaged roads, bridges and public areas. Reduced damage to cropland and associated disaster and damage payments also will save taxpayers money in the long term.

Find more information at your local USDA service center or online at the NRCSRed River Valley Watershed site.

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