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Expanded Funding for California Wetlands Through IRA due March 17th

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ACEP - California

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is currently accepting applications for expanded Wetland Reserve Easements through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

DAVIS, Calif., February 17, 2023 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is currently accepting applications for expanded Wetland Reserve Easements through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Interested landowners have until March 17, 2023, to apply for this special funding through IRA. Applications will compete nationally and must meet target conditions and be located within the identified National Priority Target Areas.

WRE, part of the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), is a voluntary easement option that provides farmers, ranchers and other private landowners compensation for land placed in wetland conservation easements, and cost-share funding for restoring degraded wetlands. WRE includes permanent easements that pay 100 percent of the easement value and restoration costs, and 30-year easements that pay up to 75 percent of the easement value and restoration costs.  Application will compete nationally for the $1.4 billion available through the IRA ACEP funding.

WRE will include the Grazing Reserve Rights option that allows livestock grazing on enrolled land as part of a wetlands conservation and grazing management plan. California NRCS is offering the pilot program in three geographic areas: Coastal Pastures & Wetlands of the North Coast, California Vernal Pools, and Intermountain Wetlands of Northeastern California.

While NRCS accepts WRE applications throughout the year, the agency plans to make 2023 funding decisions from the pool of applications funded through the IRA by May 8th. As with all NRCS easements, the landowner retains the title to the land, and the right to control access and recreational use. The land remains on the tax rolls.

For more information on WRE, landowners can contact their local NRCS Service Center or visit www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has worked in partnership with private landowners and a variety of local, state and federal conservation partners to deliver conservation based on specific, local needs.

- NRCS -

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