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Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

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Next Application Deadline: March 1, 2018

Deadline extended to March 12, 2018 only for easement applications within the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. See announcement with more details here.

Landowners and entities interested in applying for a conservation easement can submit applications any time; however, NRCS announces application cut-off dates throughout the year.

NRCS 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 (WRE). For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of a 30-year contract.

Easement values for WRE are based on the lowest value of an appraisal, a Geographic Area Rate Cap (GARC), or a landowner offer. To determine Geographic Area Rate Caps, Oregon uses individual appraisals of offered acres.  The appraiser is conducted by an independent appraiser and NRCS applies a percentage reduction to the appraised value for the property rights being acquired by USDA.

  • Oregon Geographic Area Rate Cap (Coming Soon)

WRE Easement Options

Through the WRE option, NRCS may enroll eligible land through:

Permanent Easements – Permanent Easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement. Additionally, NRCS pays 100 percent of the restoration costs.

30-year Easements – 30-year easements expire after 30 years. Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement. Additionally, NRCS pays 75 percent of the restoration costs.

30-year Contracts – 30-year contracts are only available to enroll acreage owned by Indian tribes. Program payment rates are commensurate with 30-year easements. Additionally, NRCS pays 75 percent of the restoration costs.

Grazing Reserved Rights Option - Oregon NRCS is offering a Grazing Reserved Rights Option in specific geographic areas of the state as part of WRE, the Southern Oregon Northeast California region. Permanent and 30-year easement options are available. For a grazing easement, NRCS pays 75% of the Permanent or 30-year easement values identified above. This option allows livestock grazing on enrolled land as part of an NRCS - approved wetlands conservation and grazing management plan.

For all 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 Wetland Reserve Easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

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 restoration plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

WRE Application Forms and Additional Information

These documents requires Acrobat Reader.

Application Information

Landowner Eligibility Documentation

Supplemental Documentation

How to Apply for a Wetland Easement

To apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement, contact your local USDA Service Center and visit with your NRCS District Conservationist. To find a service center near you, visit the Oregon NRCS Directory.

Contact

Loren F. Unruh, Leader for Programs
(503) 414-3235
loren.unruh@or.usda.gov

Bari Williams, Easement Program Specialist
(503) 414-3226
bari.williams@or.usda.gov

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