USDA Seeks Proposals to Restore Wetlands in Vermont

USDA Seeks Proposals to Restore Wetlands in Vermont

U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing up to $15 million in technical and financial assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands.

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 Eagle Point | by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region

Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and improve wildlife habitat, while also providing flood prevention and recreational benefits to communities.

Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a Farm Bill conservation program. The partnership is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the leading federal agency for wetland conservation on private lands.

Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.

“These strong, locally led partnerships help improve water quality, prevent flooding, enhance wildlife habitat and provide landowners the financial resources needed to voluntarily conserve our lands,” explained Vicky Drew, Vermont NRCS State Conservationist. NRCS produced a video to highlight the benefits of wetland restoration and protection in Vermont and it can be viewed at https://t.co/g9ZH0qxxfe.

Easements enable landowners to adopt a variety of conservation practices that improve the function and condition of wetlands. The voluntary nature of NRCS’ easement programs enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and other private landowners who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.

Proposals must be submitted to the Vermont NRCS state office by April 24, 2017 .
For more details, contact James Eikenberry, VT NRCS Wetland Specialist,
at james.eikenberry@vt.usda.gov or call (802) 951-6796, ext 239.

Source: VT Digger