Wetland Reserve Easement
NRCS also provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland reserve easement. For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of a 30-year contract.
Through the wetland reserve enrollment options, NRCS may enroll eligible land through:
- Permanent Easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement, and between 75 to 100 percent of the restoration costs.
- 30-Year Easements expire after 30 years. Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement, and between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
- Term Easements are easements that are for the maximum duration allowed under applicable state laws. NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the term easement and between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
- 30 year- Contracts are only available to enroll acreage owned by Indian tribes. Program payment rates are commensurate with 30-year easements.
For wetland reserve easements, NRCS pays all costs associated with recording the easement in the local land records office, including recording fees, charges for abstracts, survey and appraisal fees, and title insurance.
Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.
Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based on the easement's potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
To enroll land through agricultural land easements, NRCS enter into cooperative agreements with eligible partners . Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.
To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland's functions and values.
How to apply
- Agricultural Land Easements- eligible partners may submit proposals to NRCS to acquire conservation easements on eligible land.
- Wetland Reserve Easements - landowners may apply any time at a local USDA Service Center.
For more information visit your local USDA Service Center or the NRCS Farm Bill website at www.nrcs.usda.gov/farmbill.
Find your local USDA Service Center
Ronald McCain, Natural Resource Specialist
Phone: 601-965-5196 ext. 154
Email: Ronald McCain