Application deadline extended to May 31 for WRP

A deadline for accepting applications has been extended for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) enrollment for Fiscal Year 2013 funding. Applications are accepted year round for the program, however the cutoff for consideration for 2013 funding is extended to May 31. Interested landowners must sign an application at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office by that date, according to Jeff Vander Wilt, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs.

The WRP is a voluntary program where landowners enroll eligible wetlands and adjacent land into a 30-year or perpetual easement. The purpose of the program is to restore the land for wildlife habitat. Interested landowners need to work with their local office as soon as possible to complete the application process.

Easement payments are based on an established rate. To check out the 2013 rate for your county go to http://www.sd.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/WRP.html.

Vander Wilt, assistant conservationist for programs, says funds are available, but he encourages any landowner not to wait until the last minute to visit their local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.

“Now is the time to look at the economic return on those marginal acres, and think about enrolling them into the WRP,” he said.

For more information about the WRP, please contact your local NRCS office or the NRCS WRP Manager, Sara Thompson, at (605) 352-1281.

For more information about technical assistance and conservation programs go to http://www.sd.nrcs.usda.gov.

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