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USDA Invests in the Red River Basin

SAINT PAUL, MINN, December 8, 2015 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will invest $8 million this year to help landowners in the Red River Basin watershed reduce flooding, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.

“This funding through the Red River Basin Initiative will help NRCS and its local partners implement projects to help reduce flooding and erosion and mitigate damage caused by repeated flooding,” Cathee Pullman, State Conservationist said. “This funding is a major and much-needed investment in the health of people, land, and wildlife in the basin states.”

The Red River Basin extends across sections of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, and is within the Prairie Pothole region — a critical migratory wildlife pathway, which in recent years has experienced declines in wildlife habitat and water quality due to severe flooding.

Through the Red River Basin Initiative, NRCS works with federal, state, and local groups to develop conservation strategies in priority landscapes. NRCS funds the initiative through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Through these Farm Bill programs, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to help them implement conservation practices that address local water quality and storage concerns.

In the past three years, NRCS has targeted funding to protect vital wetlands under easements – investing nearly $17 million to place nearly 18,000 acres under conservation contracts or easements. And in terms of water storage, wetlands created or enhanced during the past three years through easements have added more than 15,000 acre-feet of flood water storage.

To learn about technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit or local USDA service center. Visit NRCS Landscape Conservation Initiatives to learn about other conservation initiatives.