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Wetland Reserve Easements

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) are a voluntary opportunity to restore and protect wetlands on private property. It is an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to restore wetlands that have been drained for agriculture.

Application deadline for FY 2017 sign-up is January 27th.

Landowners who choose to participate in WRE may sell a conservation easement or enter into a cost-share restoration agreement with USDA to restore and protect wetlands. The landowner voluntarily limits future use of the land, yet retains private ownership. The landowner and NRCS develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland. 

The program offers landowners three options: permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 30-year contracts (only available to acreage owned by Indian tribes).  Wisconsin has many WRP restoration projects.  

Quick Access

Wisconsin WRE 2017 Geographic Area Rate Caps (PDF, 594KB) December 2016

Ranking Worksheet for 2017 applications (XLS, 2MB) December 2016

WRE Factsheet (PDF, 1MB)  May 2014

WRP- what you need to know (PDF, 88KB) August 2013

WRP Compatible Use Permits and Hunting Blinds and Stands (PDF, 130KB) August 2013

The NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program is the forerunner to the WRE, which was established in the 2014 Farm Bill.  Some examples of NRCS's WRP restorations in Wisconsin:

Ramsden Marsh



More information is available on the national NRCS website. Sign-up at any time at your local NRCS office located in USDA service centers.