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News Release

USDA seeks project proposals to protect and restore critical wetlands

NEWS_RELEASE_HEADER-UPDATEDRelease No.: 2019-05-030

Contact:
Bari Williams, Easement Programs Specialist
503-414-3226, bari.williams@usda.gov

Robert Hathorne, Public Affairs Specialist
503-414-3230, robert.hathorne@usda.gov

PORTLAND, Ore. – (May 20, 2019) – Up to $40 million in technical and financial assistance is available to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore, and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands.

Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

Project proposals should be emailed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at SM.NRCS.WRE@wdc.usda.gov by June 14, 2019.

Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and improve wildlife habitat while also providing flood prevention and recreational benefits to communities.

About the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership

With WREP, states, local units of government, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.

Wetland reserve easements enable landowners to successfully reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater, enhance and protect wildlife habitat and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.

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 communities where the wetlands exist.

Easements enable landowners to adopt a variety of conservation practices that improve the function and condition of wetlands.

Partners interested in WREP are encouraged to contact Bari Williams, NRCS Oregon easement programs specialist, with questions about developing their proposal. She can be reached at 503-414-3226 or bari.williams@usda.gov. Proposals must follow ACEP guidelines for wetland reserve easements.

Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners interested in easements on their land should contact their local USDA service center or visit the ACEP webpage.

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