Cover photo for Wetlands Reserve Program

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

Natural Resources Conservation Service

About

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial support to help landowners with their wetland restoration efforts. The NRCS goal is to achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat, on every acre enrolled in the program. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection.

Enrollment Options:

  • Permanent Easement: A conservation easement in perpetuity. USDA pays 100 percent of the easement value and up to 100 percent of the restoration costs.

  • 30-Year Easement: An easement that expires after 30 years. USDA pays up to 75 percent of the easement value and up to 75 percent of the restoration costs.

  • Restoration Cost-Share Agreement: An agreement to restore or enhance the wetland functions and values without placing an easement on the enrolled acres. USDA pays up to 75 percent of the restoration costs.

  • 30-Year Contract: A 30 year contract option is only available on tribal lands. USDA pays up to 75 percent of the restoration costs.

Under the easement options the USDA will pay all costs associated with recording the easement in the local land records office, including recording fees, charges for abstracts, survey and appraisal fees, and title insurance. Under the voluntary easement the landowner retains the rights to: (1) control of access, (2) title and right to convey title, (3) quiet enjoyment, (4) undeveloped recreational uses, (5) subsurface resources, and (6) water rights.

Eligibility

Lands eligible for WRP are wetlands farmed under natural conditions; farmed wetlands; prior converted cropland; farmed wetland pasture; certain lands that have the potential to become a wetland as a result of flooding; rangeland, pasture, or forest production lands where the hydrology has been significantly degraded and can be restored; riparian areas which link protected wetlands; lands adjacent to protected wetlands that contribute significantly to wetland functions and values; and wetlands previously restored under a local, State, or Federal Program that need long-term protection.

Lands established to trees through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are ineligible for WRP enrollment.

Similar Programs

Details

Organization

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Financial Instrument

Easement, Cost Share

Image Credit

USDA NRCS Montana

Updated September 28, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.