COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a special set-aside funding pool for landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and protecting wetlands through the Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (WRE). This year, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding has provided additional financial opportunities for the program, as wetlands play a critical role in climate mitigation. The first application cutoff date to receive fiscal year 2023 funding for the WRE-IRA program is March 17, 2023.
Wetland Reserve Easements can help landowners protect land from climate impacts by reducing, capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Additional benefits include land development protection, critical wildlife habitat preservation and water quality improvement.
Many of the state’s landowners can take advantage of this program, as eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored; croplands or grasslands subject to flooding; and previously restored wetlands and riparian areas that connect protected wetland areas.
WRE enrollment options include permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 30-year contracts. NRCS staff are available to help landowners plan and implement individual projects. The agency will pay a percent of the land’s value as well as restoration costs for each easement option.
Find Ohio’s ranking dates as well as other program information on the Ohio NRCS WRE website or contact Barbara Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.
— USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service