Indianapolis, IN, October 19, 2018– State Conservationist Jerry Raynor announced today that USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is entering its third and final year of a project with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to provide financial and technical assistance to private landowners and other eligible entities through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP).
As part of this partnership program, wetland easements and restorations are available in the Lower Wabash and White River watersheds in the southwest part of the state to address wildlife habitat and improve water quality for fish and waterfowl.
Private landowners and other eligible entities located in Warren, Fountain, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo, Sullivan, Knox, Dubois, Pike, Gibson, Daviess, Greene, and Posey counties are encouraged to submit applications on or before November 20, 2018 in anticipation of the next available round of funding.
WREP funds are available for new enrollments into permanent or 30-year easements or restoration and management of existing Wetlands Reserve Program and Wetlands Reserve Enhancement easements. Funding is also available to assist landowners with mineral rights issues associated with wetland easements. This project builds on the extensive efforts of previous and on-going partnerships between NRCS, TNC, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Conservation Law Center at Indiana University.
“Indiana NRCS is committed to protecting and enhancing our state’s wetlands, which are critical to the quality of our state’s waters, wildlife and landscapes,” said Raynor. “Targeting dollars in these two watersheds allows us to expand our work on critical wetlands and will helps us gain results that will make project participants proud.”
The benefits of wetland easements are many, including reduced impacts from flooding, groundwater recharging, enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat, and providing recreational and educational opportunities. The voluntary nature of NRCS' easement programs allows for the effective integration of wetland restoration on agricultural working lands, providing benefits to both the farmers who enroll in the program, as well as their communities.