The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program to restore wetlands. Participating landowners can establish conservation easements of either permanent or 30-year duration or can enter into restoration cost-share agreements where no easement is involved.
In exchange for establishing a permanent easement, the landowner receives payment up to the agricultural value of the land and 100% of the restoration costs for restoring the wetland. The 30-year easement payment is 75% of what would be provided for a permanent easement on the same site and 75% of the restoration cost.
The voluntary agreements are for a minimum 10-year duration and provide for 75% of the cost of restoring the involved wetlands. Easements set limits on how the lands may be used in the future. Restoration cost-share agreements establish wetland protection and restoration as the primary land use for the duration of the agreement. In all instances, landowners continue to control access to their land. Contract applications are provided though the Natural Resources Conservation Service at 262-878-1243.