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Posts tagged: Wetlands Reserve Program

Board of Water and Soil Resources Celebrates 25 years of Re-Invest in Minnesota

For 25 years, the conservationists at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) have been cleaning the state’s water, improving soil productivity and restoring wildlife habitat on private lands.

And for much of that time, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has been a partner to the state agency.

Working together with local offices, the two agencies assist private landowners with conservation practices that reduce soil erosion, improve water cleanliness and enhance habitat in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Read more »

NRCS Responds to Widespread Flooding in Mississippi

S.E. Felter worked these flooded fields as a teen. Now, the Adams County supervisor is hoping the water recedes quickly from the inundated agricultural community.

S.E. Felter worked these flooded fields as a teen. Now, the Adams County supervisor is hoping the water recedes quickly from the inundated agricultural community.

During S.E. Felter’s early teen years, he baled hay a few miles from his Adams County, Miss. home. But now the land Felter worked as a youngster is a lake, after the Mississippi River swelled its banks and pushed water inland along creeks and rivers. Read more »

One Year after Deepwater and 470,000 Acres of Wetland Bird Habitat Later…

Just recently, the wildlife conservation organization Ducks Unlimited presented me with their 2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award—Special Achievement category for the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) and our record signup for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of all Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) employees and numerous partners, including Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USA Rice Federation, National Cotton Council, National Association of Conservation Districts, The Nature Conservancy, and National Audubon Society .*

But let me back up a bit on MBHI. Read more »

NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program Aids in the Recovery of Louisiana Black Bear Habitat

Louisiana black bear cubs.

Louisiana black bear cubs.

The Louisiana black bear was once abundant in the Mississippi River Delta. But by the 1950s, the population was severely diminished in Louisiana, mainly due to habitat loss. Luckily, a voluntary land conservation program offered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping this threatened subspecies of the American black bear stage a comeback. Read more »

Improving Water Quality and Protecting Wildlife Habitat in the Northern Everglades

By Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to survey the northern Everglades, a vast watershed of incredible beauty. USDA prides itself on protecting natural resources across our nation and the Fisheating Creek Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) project offers us another opportunity to do just that. Read more »

NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Makes Environmental Impact

 Dick Tremain, NRCS Iowa

Amy Plavak of Hillsboro, Oregon, used to lead multi-million dollar projects as a certified professional project manager.  Now she is one of 36,000 Earth Team volunteers working to improve the environment and restore wetlands which can clean water, reduce flooding and provide wildlife habitat. 

Earth Team is the volunteer program of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  NRCS helps private landowners, farmers and ranchers conserve, maintain and improve natural resources and the environment.    

Plavak joined the Earth Team and learned about wetlands, the NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and worked with NRCS conservationists on soil-saving and water-enhancing projects.  She eventually became responsible for updating the wetlands restoration specifications for six WRP projects totaling over 1,000 acres and preparing a detailed agreement and construction bid package for a 350-acre WRP project.  Plavak’s volunteer work is credited with saving the government money and allowing the WRP project to be completed on time. 

Plavak was the 2009 Earth Team Individual Volunteer Award winner for NRCS. 

Michele Eginoire, national Earth Team volunteer coordinator, says all Earth Team volunteers make a difference.  “We try to tailor our volunteer jobs to our volunteers’ likes and abilities.  Their work can include field work, administrative support and conservation education.  Our volunteers are a diverse group 14 years and older who support NRCS conservation efforts,” said Eginoire.  “Every Earth Team volunteer makes a contribution and every volunteer has the potential to improve the land as much as Amy Plavak.” 

NRCS has over 3,000 offices nationwide.  To learn more about being an Earth Team volunteer in your area, call 1-888-LANDCARE.

Earth Team Volunteer Amy Plavak is credited with improving the environment and saving the government money near her Oregon home.
Earth Team Volunteer Amy Plavak is credited with improving the environment and
saving the government money near her Oregon home.