Wetlands Reserve Program
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Under the 2008 Farm Bill
Restoring America's Wetlands: A Private Lands Conservation Success Story - commemorating 20 years of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). This document features highlights, success stories, landowner quotes, scientific research, findings, and scenic photos of WRP work from across the country.
Download the commemorative publication, Restoring America's Wetlands: A Private Lands Conservation Success Story (2.6 MB, PDF) and attached references. (24 KB, PDF)
The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to address wetland, wildlife habitat, soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on private and public lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. It is an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to enhance, protect, or restore wetlands to the original hydrology, functions and values, native vegetation, and natural topography.
Landowners who choose to participate in WRP may sell a conservation easement or enter into a cost-share restoration agreement with USDA to restore and protect wetlands. The landowner voluntarily limits future use of the land, yet retains private ownership. The landowner and NRCS develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland. The land is also rated using a Ranking Criteria Form to determine if adequate benefits can be achieved and priorities for funding. A landowner continues to control access to the land, and may lease the land for hunting, fishing, and other undeveloped recreational activities. At any time, a landowner may request that additional activities be evaluated to determine if they are compatible uses for the site. Compatible uses are allowed if they are fully consistent with the protection and enhancement of the wetland.
The program offers landowners two options: permanent easements and restoration cost-share agreements of a minimum 10-year duration.
Permanent Easement - This is a conservation easement in perpetuity. Easement payment will be the lesser of: the agricultural value of the land, and established payment cap, or an amount offered by the landowner. In addition to paying for the easement, USDA pays 100 percent of the costs of restoring the wetland.
Restoration Cost-Share Agreement - This is an agreement (generally for a minimum of 10 years in duration) to re-establish degraded or lost wetland habitat. USDA pays 75 percent of the cost of the restoration activity. This does not place an easement on the property. The landowner provides the restoration site without reimbursement.
Other agencies and private conservation organizations may provide additional assistance for easement payment and wetland restoration costs as a way to reduce the landowner's share of the costs. Such special partnership efforts are encouraged.
Proposals can be submitted by the eligible entities to the NRCS-NH State Office on a continuous basis throughout the year. The individual projects are evaluated and ranked monthly.
For answers to any questions about the NH WRP Program, please contact:
Susan.Knight@nh.usda.gov, Technical Program Specialist - Easements at 603-868-9931 x118
Brooke.Smart@nh.usda.gov, Resource Conservationist at 603-868-9931 ext 106
Jeremy.Lougee@nh.usda.gov, Soil Conservationist, 603-868-9931 x142
James.Spielman@nh.usda.gov, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs at 603-868-9931 x 115
The documents found on this website provide information regarding the WRP process, program eligibility, as well as other valuable information for landowners wishing to participate in the Wetlands Restoration Program. The eligibility requirements will sometimes change from previous program years. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements carefully and contact NRCS with specific questions.
Important Documents for WRP Applicants
2013 WRP Ranking Sheet
2013 WRP Geographic Area Rate Cap (GARC) Information
2013 WRP Practice List
WRP Easement Deed
Additional Documents for WRP Enrollment
Title scope of work
Survey scope of work
Sample Compatible Use Agreement