Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) are a voluntary opportunity to restore and protect wetlands on private property. It is an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to restore wetlands that have been drained for agriculture.
Landowners who choose to participate in WRE 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 program offers landowners three options: permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 30-year contracts (only available to acreage owned by Indian tribes). Wisconsin has many WRP restoration projects.