USDA seeks project proposals to protect and restore critical wetlands
Release No. 2017.03.021
Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 503-414-3220. Email: Tracy.Robillard@or.usda.gov
Bari Williams, Easement Specialist
Phone: 503-414-3226. Email: Bari.Williams@or.usda.gov
PORTLAND, Ore. – (March 16, 2017) — Up to $15 million is available nationally this year to help eligible conservation partners protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands.
Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and improve wildlife habitat, while also providing flood risk reduction and recreational benefits to communities.
The funding is available through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership, administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the leading federal agency for wetland conservation on private lands.
WREP is a voluntary program through which NRCS signs agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement and to improve wildlife habitat. The program is open to state and local governments, tribes, conservation groups and other organizations. WREP helps facilitate conservation easements with private landowners to protect and restore wetlands on farms and ranches.
Conservation easements enable landowners to adopt a variety of conservation practices that improve the function and condition of wetlands. The voluntary nature of NRCS' easement programs enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.
This year, NRCS is encouraging partners to propose projects that focus on improving water quality as well as habitat on working landscapes in high-priority areas, including sagebrush. Proposals must be submitted to the Oregon NRCS state office by April 24, 2017.
For more information about this program and to discuss a project proposal, contact Bari Williams, easement specialist at 503-414-3226 or Bari.Williams@or.usda.gov.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial and technical assistance to voluntary farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to implement conservation practices on private lands. By working collectively with partners and stakeholders, NRCS helps maintain healthy and productive working landscapes, benefitting both environmental and agricultural needs. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
Local contact information is located in the telephone book under the federal government listing or can be found online at: www.or.nrcs.usda.gov.