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News Release

USDA to Host Listening Sessions on Wetland Compliance

Contact:
Jennifer Heglund
701.530.2095

BISMARCK, ND July 9, 2014– Mary Podoll, State Conservationist, announced that Listening Sessions have been scheduled seeking comments on proposed changes to the offsite methods used in making wetland determinations and new wetland mitigation banking alternatives related to implementation of the USDA wetland compliance provisions.  The USDA wetland compliance provisions were originally enacted in the 1985 Farm Bill and through the 2014 Agricultural Act these provisions have been re-linked with the premium subsidy paid under the Federal crop insurance program.

The sessions will provide an opportunity for farmers and the public to provide comments on technical changes being proposed to the agency’s use of offsite wetland determination procedures.  NRCS is also soliciting input on implementation strategies for the wetland mitigation banking provision provided in the Agricultural Act of 2014. 

Listening sessions have been scheduled for

  • Ankeny, Iowa on July 28
  • Albert Lea, Minnesota on July 29
  • Aberdeen, South Dakota on July 30
  • Fargo, North Dakota on July 31

The sessions target public participation in the North Central Plains states.  This area which is also known as the Prairie Pothole Region contains numerous small seasonal wetlands which provide important breeding and nesting habitat for more than 60 percent of the nation's migratory waterfowl.  NRCS State Conservationist Podoll stated that, "Our goal is to help landowners understand and meet their wetland compliance responsibilities which are a condition for participation in USDA programs, including Crop Insurance.”  NRCS staff provide farmers the technical assistance needed to manage their working lands in a way that makes agricultural production compatible with the wetland conservation requirements for participation in USDA funded programs.

North Dakota’s session will be held at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, ND on July 31st.  The session will begin at 10:00 a.m. Central standard time and conclude at 12:00 p.m. For more information on these opportunities, please contact your local NRCS field office.

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