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Wetlands… Benefit the Land, Secure Your Future. NRCS Wetland Reserve Program Illinois. WRP ~ Offers benefits for you…. Wetlands are unique ecosystems that offer a diverse and valuable environment…. increase biodiversity enhance wildlife habitat quality improve and protect water resources

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Wetlands… Benefit the Land, Secure Your Future

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Wetlands… Benefit the Land, Secure Your Future

NRCS Wetland Reserve Program


WRP ~ Offers benefits for you…

Wetlands are unique ecosystems that offer a diverse and valuable environment…

  • increase biodiversity

  • enhance wildlife habitat quality

  • improve and protect water resources

  • Create nature-based tourism opportunities

WRP ~ Offers benefits for you…

Wetlands offer tangible benefits valuable to any landowner

  • Alternatives for wet areas with shallow water

  • Reduce crops/yields lost to flood waters

  • Reduce risk of flooding

  • Offer ground water recharge benefits

  • Filter out sediment

  • Improve water quality—on your farm, within the community

  • Create alternative enterprise opportunities

  • Provide financial security

WRP ~ Wetlands: Illinois’ history…

The Illinois landscape was once covered with water, wetlands and forested floodplains

WRP ~ Wetlands: Illinois’ history…

  • Illinois ranks 5th in overall acreage of wetland losses. Only Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona have lost more acres.

  • Because of Illinois’ wetland losses, we are in the top 10% of states with highest wetland losses over the last 200 years.

Let’s turn things around!

WRP ~ Wetlands: Illinois’ history…

Extensive drainage systems, levees, and mass land clearing have made agricultural production possible and profitable in Illinois and across the Midwest.

WRP ~ Wetlands: Illinois’ history…

Even with drainage, there are often areas destined to be wet; areas that are meant to be a wetland.

WRP ~ Let wetlands be wetlands…

Sometimes these areas are large expanses, awkward sized potholes, or small areas adjacent to a watercourse, creek or tributary.

WRP ~ Let wetlands be wetlands…

  • Large or small, these acres can be managed as wetlands and offer a farm INCOME.

  • Wetlands could be the SOLUTION you need!

Your new wetland could be a legacy for your farm and your family.

WRP ~ Let wetlands be wetlands…

  • WRP restores wetlands.

  • Illinois needs to support natural wetlands—large and small—and let those areas BE wetlands!

Nationally, the average WRP project size is 175 acres…

WRP ~ What WRP Can Do…

  • WRP is a voluntary restoration program.

  • NRCS provides technical assistance to restore and improve wetlands on private lands.

WRP ~ Let wetlands be wetlands…

In many cases, potholes, low-lying areas, and flood plains need minimal assistance or simple structural alterations in order to be restored into a QUALITY WETLAND.

Have an area like this…?

WRP ~ Sound Familiar…?

  • “I’ve spent more money fixing that levee than I’ve made off the crops..”

  • “A guy probably shouldn’t be farming a field if he’s got fish swimming through it.....”

  • “I’ve sat in the cab of my harvester and watched the yield monitor hover at 200 bushels an acre. I’ve also sat in the cab, driving through 6 inches of water, trying to save what’s left before the flood takes it all...”

WRP ~ What wetlands need…

Small and medium-sized sites, 20 – 200 acres in size, need:

  • Good planning by NRCS specialists

  • Assistance with seeding & planting

  • Simple water level controls

  • Minimal maintenance

WRP ~ Fits your operation…

  • WRP is not just for large farms with big plans and big tracts of land.

  • WRP works on…

    • Small farms

    • Small acres

    • Marginal land

    • Wet area

    • Troublesome areas

WRP ~ Fits your operation…

WRP works for Illinois landowners…

who WANT a wetland

or NEED a wetland

or HAVE a wetland that needs help

WRP ~ Let NRCS make it easy…

WRP program requirements, applications, ranking processes and timeframes are MANAGEABLE.

WRP ~ Fits your commitment level…

WRP contracts can be as long as YOU want!

  • 10 years without an easement

  • 30 years with an easement

  • …or FOREVER!

WRP ~ The process…

  • WRP supports contracts for 20 – 2000 acres or more!

  • NRCS first determines if land is eligible.

  • Restoration plans and rankings are conducted.

  • NRCS determines which applications can be funded. (Applications with higher environmental rankings are funded first.)

  • Once selected, NRCS conducts appraisals and makes an offer of payment for purchasing a conservation easement.

  • Payment is based on the land’s before and after appraised market value.

WRP ~ The process…

  • NRCS pays all acquisition costs—appraisals, surveys, title work, and recording fees.

  • NRCS staff follow though with the restoration plan and the wetland comes alive!

WRP ~ The rules…

  • WRP landowners are allowed to use the land:

    • WRP landowners maintain title to the land.

    • WRP landowners retain control of access.

    • WRP landowners maintain control of subsurface mineral rights.

    • Land can be used for non-developed recreational activities like hunting or fishing.

    • It’s essential that that uses of the land are compatible with conservation objectives of the plan.

WRP ~ What works best…

The best WRP applications & projects have:

  • Completed NRCS Wetland Restoration Plan

  • Clear title (speeds up the process!)

  • Low maintenance, sustainable site

WRP ~ It all adds up!

Once accepted & completed, WRP contracts can…

  • PAY YOU for letting your land be what it was intended to be

  • SOLVE PROBLEMS on the farm

  • IMPROVE WATER QUALITY on/off the farm

  • RESTORE wildlife habitat

  • Offer FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS and security

Sound like a Win-Win? It is!

WRP ~ A simple solution…

Does WRP sound like it might fit into YOUR operation?

If so, visit your county NRCS office at the USDA Service Center and find out more.

Visit www.il.nrcs.usda.gov

USDA – NRCS is an equal opportunity employer and provider

Thank you!

NRCS ~ Helping People Help the Land

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