Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist for Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today that NRCS is accepting applications until July 31 for funding to address high-priority wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement activities and improve wildlife habitat on eligible lands throughout Indiana.
NRCS is investing $15 million nationwide in the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to work through agreements with states, nongovernmental organizations, not for profit organizations, and tribes to help conserve wetlands and their related benefits. Through targeted WREP projects, dollars are made available for new enrollments into permanent or 30-year easements or restoration and management of existing WRP or ACEP-WRE enrollments.
“NRCS has leveraged partnerships to accomplish a great deal on Indiana’s wetlands over the past two decades,” Hardisty said. “This year’s funding will help strengthen these partnerships and achieve greater wetland conservation in the state.”
Wetland reserve easements help landowners to successfully enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. NRCS’ easement programs provide benefits to farmers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.
Partners will be required to provide a combination of in-kind and cash contributions of at least 25 percent of the easement, restoration, or management costs. Proposals that go above and beyond required contributions will be given higher consideration. Eligible partners may submit proposals for individual projects, watershed-wide or larger geographical area projects to the Indiana NRCS office, 6013 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46278 by close of business on July 31, 2015. Proposals submitted by fax or through the www.grants.gov website will not be accepted. Application guidance can be found on the Indiana ACEP website here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/in/programs/easements/?cid=stelprdb1248149
For more information about NRCS and other technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or contact your District Conservationist https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/in/contact/local/.