NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s farmers and landowners can now sign up for the USDA’s Wetlands Reserve Program. The program is administered through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The WRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their property. Tennessee landowners have until Feb. 29 to sign up for the first round of funding for WRP.
Eligible lands include those that are privately owned or tribal lands. The program offers easements and restoration contracts depending on the goals and objectives of the landowner. Through the easement acquisition, the landowner voluntarily limits future use of the land, but retains private ownership.
There are three enrollment options: permanent easements, 30-year easements and restoration cost share agreements.
Some examples of eligible lands include wetlands farmed under natural conditions, farmed wetlands, prior converted cropland, farmed wetland pasture, former or degraded wetlands, and more.
Information about WRP is available online at http://www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/WRP/wrp-index.html or from NRCS at local USDA Service Centers.