Private landowners interested in enhancing, restoring and protecting wetlands are encouraged to apply for the Wetland Reserve Easements in California program facilitated by the Natural Resource Conservation Service. 

“Wetland easements provide private landowners with an opportunity to voluntarily protect and restore wetlands on frequently flooded, marginal land that is difficult to farm,” said Carlos Suarez, NRCS state conservationist in California.  “NRCS has used our easement programs to restore and protect a wide diversity of wetland types from freshwater wetlands in the Central Valley to high mountain meadows in the Sierra Nevada.”

According to a release issued by the NRCS, the Wetland Reserve Easements in California program is a voluntary incentive program that provides compensation to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners for land placed in wetland conservation easements.  

Both perpetual and 30-year duration easements are available, it was stated in the release, and NRCS provides technical assistance and funding for restoring easement wetlands.  NRCS also covers 100 percent of the restoration costs for perpetual easements and 75 percent of the restoration cost for 30-year easements.  

Participating landowners retain the title to the land as well as the right to control access and recreational use and the land remains on the tax rolls while participating in the WRE program. 

While NRCS accepts WRE applications year round, the agency plans to make 2021 funding decisions from the pool of applications received by Feb. 26. 

For more information, call 792-5653 or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ca/programs/easements/acep/.

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