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USDA Announces New Wetlands Conservation Assistance

January 24th, 2012

Funding Applications for Wetlands Habitat Improvement Accepted until Feb. 10, 2012

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting Michigan State Conservationist Gary O’Neill announced the availability of Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) funding to enter into agreements with eligible partners to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement activities on eligible lands.

“Nationally, up to $17 million is available through General WREP for wetlands restoration and enhancements on a competitive basis,” said O’Neill. “Eligible partners are encouraged to submit WREP proposals to our state office by Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. The proposals will be evaluated by Michigan NRCS staff using a competitive process with recommended proposals being forwarded to the national NRCS office for review, ranking and final selection.”

WREP is a voluntary conservation program that works through partnership agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations and tribes. It is a component of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) through which NRCS enters into agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high priority wetland protection and improve wildlife habitat.

General WREP proposals may be submitted by eligible partners for individual projects, watershed-wide or larger geographical area. States and local units of government, Indian tribes and nongovernmental organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may submit written proposals to the Michigan NRCS state office, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 250, East Lansing, Mich., 48823 by Feb. 10, 2012. Proposals submitted by fax or through the www.grants.gov website will NOT be accepted.

Benefits to the partners in WREP Agreements include:
• Involvement in wetland restoration in high priority areas;
• Ability to cost-share restoration or enhancement components beyond those required by NRCS;
• Ability to participate in management or monitoring of selected project locations; and
• Opportunity to utilize innovative restoration methods and practices.

WREP partners are required to contribute a financial or technical assistance fund match.

For more additional information about General WREP or to apply, visit www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov or contact Becky Otto, Wetland Reserve Program coordinator, at (517) 324-5257 or email: becky.otto@mi.usda.gov.

  • Liz

    Is this programs for individual landowners? If so, what are some examples of projects that are likely to get approved?

    • Amy Trotter

      This particular program is not for individual landowners to apply for, but for non-profits, state and local units of government and tribal groups who then might work with landowners in a certain area.

    • Amy Trotter

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any local examples. We have not had a WREP project funded in Michigan yet.

      Here are some links to WREP projects in other states:

      http://www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov/wrep_index.html

      http://www.mn.nrcs.usda.gov/news/wrep.html

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TUGGCX5A4VJVHNOZLRRYT2UY6Y Reptile Hunter

    I had read that the GMO industry has petitioned the USDA to utilize their genetically modified plants in these restoration projects. I advise strongly for the MUCC to investigate the pro’s and con’s using these plants. Please don’t close the eyes to truths as with the fracking debate.
    Cross pollination is a big concern. The GMO plant may “jump species” carrying with it the genetic sequencing that may not be favorable to our native species. The organic community has been studying the link between some GMO plants to the disappearance of our beloved Honey Bee. Whether it be human or other life species it’s been linked to an array of undesirable consequences.
    Research, research, research. We don’t want to create something that may tweek the fragile circle leading to changes we might not desire.

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