May is American Wetlands Month and was created in 1991 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector partners to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation’s ecological, economic, and social health and to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource.
The Wetlands Reserve Program became part of the 1995 Farm Bill. Since then the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been working with farmers to protect those valuable wetlands by enrolling them into easements.
“Kansas producers have enrolled over 20,000 acres into WRP since 1995,” said Eric Banks, NRCS State Conservationist. “There are still many more that could be enrolled.”
Banks posed the following questions about wetlands on your land:
Are you tired of spending money trying to farm cropland that is just too wet most years?
Does your cropland have fish swimming through it due to flooding?
Do you find yourself driving through standing water trying to salvage at least part of your crop?
“If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes,’” said Banks, “then maybe it is time to consider WRP as part of the conservation plan for your farm.”
The WRP is a voluntary restoration program that provides technical and financial assistance to restore and improve wetland resources on private lands.
A WRP easement can pay you for letting your land be what it was intended to be—Wetlands!
To find out more about applying for WRP, call or visit your local USDA Service Center (listed in the telephone book under United States Government or on the Internet at offices.usda.gov) or call the NRCS Office in Great Bend 620-792-3346 or visit www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov. NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer.