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Mark Christianson

Private landowners, do you want to retire wetlands

6 posts in this topic

I tried this under another topic, and that one quite honestly stunk for response. Maybe this will work. And then maybe it won't but I am dedicated to keep trying to spread the word.

There is a lot of talk on forums and publications about habitat and loss of it.

Not many people realize it, but the USFWS has a couple programs that address this issue head-on.

Wetland Easement Program

This program is for private land owners who have wetlands, and they want to protect them indefinitely.

The WEP is a program that offers a one time payment for lands that are described as wetlands basically.

An appraiser comes out, and issues an appraisal for the wetlands to the owner. The land owner gets a one time payment for those acres to enroll in WEP.

The stipulation is that you cannot burn, fill, drain or level any of the property in the program. You can however, use normal farming practices on that land. For instance, you can still have the land in pasture area, or if the wetland drains naturally, you can farm it. But when the waters come back, you can do nothing to stop the natural return to its original state.

AND, this does not in any way, force the landowner to open the land to public hunting/trapping. You still own all the land. This ensures that nobody down the road can buy the land and drain it. It goes on the property description, and those wetlands are saved indefinitely.

Also, if you have a piece of property that has been drained, tiled, ditched, etc; you can also get some help from the USFWS to fix that land up at no charge. They bring out the heavy equipment and do whatever is needed to bring that land, back to a wetland.

I see a lot of negative talk about our losses, and continued losses, but there are avenues to save some of it, and its a matter of people knowing that there is help out there.

Does the above measures cure all our duck woes? No, but it sure does not hurt them. There is obviously more work needed, but lets use the options we have and save a few wetlands. Its a mountain to climb for sure.

Just thought I would try to put some positive vibes into the waterfowl arena.

Let me know if you have ANY questions, and I will be happy to help search for answers.

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biglakebass, don't get discouraged by the lack of response. I think you're preaching to the choir here, most people on this forum that have land are probably enviromentally minded and have checked out the different options. I have to go into the Soil and Water conservation office every year to sign paperwork, and all the programs are laid out for you, all you have to do is ask.

I see where you're headed though, you see 'farmable' wetlands that farmers till up every year, then they flood out, then they replant, if they're lucky, they get a crop 3 out of every 10 years. They would be perfect for what you're talking about. But you know what, the big farmers would rather work it up rather than farm around it. Thats why we don't have pheasants (and ducks) any more, the wall to wall farming. But they have to make a living too. One encouraging thing that I see is more no-till farming, they don't work up the corn ground, they just plant right into the corn stubble. It has to leave more corn for the pheasants and deer.

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I think the major factor here is the government needs to take the bull by the horns and push these programs to farmers. Maybe they need to compensate them for the programs up to about the going price of corn or beans. For example, If a farmer is getting anywhere from 180 to 200 bushel per acre on average with that specific crop we should compensate them for a wetland program with the same going price for that crop or even higher so that we can encourage them to enroll that land into a program. This should be on a yearly basis. Not a one time payment. Why? Because most farmers aren't going for that one time payment. The price that farmland is going for now is absolutely rediculous. Any thoughts?

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Hey now biglakebass I replied to your other thread. Are you trying to say that I stink????

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OK, everyone stinks except you... wink.gif

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Feel the love here, ummmm.

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