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News Release

Private Landowners Play a Vital Role in Caring for Wetlands

Did you know that Wisconsin has lost half of its wetlands?

Of the 5 million acres that remain, 75% are in private ownership, giving landowners a vital role in caring for wetlands. Private landowners also own most of the land that used to be wetland and could be restored. As much as 85% of Wisconsin’s potentially restorable wetland acreage is in private ownership.

If you are a landowner who owns wetlands or land you think may have been wetlands, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association can help you care for and restore your land.

The USDA-NRCS offers several programs that can help private landowners care for their land. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program is one, and it includes Wetland Reserve Easements (which used to be called the Wetlands Reserve Program). Through Wetland Reserve Easements, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners to restore, protect and enhance wetlands. Wetland Reserve Easements offer an opportunity for landowners to receive financial incentives to restore wetlands that have been drained for agriculture. Learn more. Contact your local USDA Service Center to get started.

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA) provides guidance and connects landowners with the information and support needed to care for wetlands. Start with the My Healthy Wetland handbook for wetland landowners. Use the resources pages to connect with other information and resources. Learn more.

Watch our Videos

Hear from three different families who have restored their wetlands in partnership with NRCS and WWA. Also, learn more about how these two partners can help you restore your wetlands.

Partnering for Wetlands

NRCS and WWA each help landowners care for and restore their land. Working together, they can get more done and help more landowners across Wisconsin.

FY20 Wetlands WWA Partnership

Wetlands Build Wildlife Habitat

Craig and Nichol Swenson partnered with NRCS to restore marginal fields on their land to wetlands. Today, they relish enjoying the wildlife their wetland attracts.
FY20 Wetlands Craig and Nichol

Wetlands Create Community Resiliency

TJ Rogers and his father, Tom, worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore their land back to wetlands, creating a recreational property for their family to enjoy. Now, the Rogers’ property is not only a home to wildlife, it also supports community resiliency.
FY20 Wetlands TJ Rogers

Wetlands Help the Bottom Line

Kyle Skalitzky is a Wisconsin farmer who had lowlands often too wet to farm. Working with the NRCS through Easement Programs, Kyle restored his marginal farmland back to wetlands, helping his farm remain profitable during wet seasons and also provide habitat for wildlife, clean area waters and manage flooding.

FY20 Wetlands Kyle



Special thanks to our partner, the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.


Helping People Help the Land

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