FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2009
$8 Million Available to Restore Wetlands in Ohio
Landowners need to respond quickly
COLUMBUS, OH - Have you been interested in developing a wetland? If so, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) need to know.
The NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary conservation program that offers landowners the means and opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property through perpetual easements, 30-year easements or Land Treatment Contracts. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service manages the program and provides technical and financial support to help landowners who participate in WRP.
Interested landowners should contact a NRCS Wetland Team member or an ODNR Division of Wildlife private lands biologist. Landowners wanting to participate should call in the next few months.
NRCS Wetland Team Members:
Barbara Baker - (419) 429-8306
Danielle Balduff - (330) 830-7700
Gordon Starr - (937) 836-5428
Ohio's Private Lands Biologists:
Central Ohio, Dan Crusey, (614) 644-3925
Northwest Ohio, Jeff Burris, (419) 429-8367 and Mark Witt, (419) 429-8362
Northeast Ohio, Dan McMillen, (330) 644-2293
Southeast Ohio, Lloyd Culbertson, (740) 589-9957
Southwest Ohio, Heidi Devine and Diana Malas, (937) 372-9261
The goal of WRP is to achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimum wildlife habitat. Enrolled lands are mostly high-risk agricultural lands located in flood-prone areas that are then restored to wetlands.
In addition to paying the landowner for the easement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays up to 100 percent of the cost of restoring the wetland. In Ohio, WRP was offered for the first time in 1995. To date, Ohio has 326 WRP easements covering 20,143 acres.
One of the primary concerns of landowners considering participating in WRP is over control of the wetland area. The landowner retains ownership and controls access of the land. The landowner must agree to implement a Wetlands Reserve Plan of Operations (WRPO), a conservation plan that identifies how the wetland functions and how the area will be restored, improved, and protected.