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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.

Accepting applications now for funding consideration in 2019!

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

WRE 2019 Geographic Area Payment Rate Caps (PDF, 640KB, January 2019)

WRE 2019 Application Ranking Worksheet (XLS, 197KB, November 2017)

WRE Factsheet (PDF, 1MB, August 2017)

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:

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

Ramsden Marsh