Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

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Minnesota is implementing a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) that will directly address resource problems with strategic, long-term solutions. Farmers and agricultural landowners who choose to voluntarily enroll in the CREP will not only provide significant progress for the state’s water quality goals and habitat needs, but will also be part of a national model for local-state-federal partnerships.

If you are interested in learning about how you and your land can become permanently protected through the MN CREP sign up, please contact Brayden Anderson at the SWCD today! Acres are limited and floodplains, buffers and wetland restorations are priorities.

Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM)

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Conservation easements are a critical component of the state’s efforts to improve water quality by reducing soil erosion, phosphorus and nitrogen loading, and improving wildlife habitat and flood attenuation on private lands. Easements protect the state’s water and soil resources by permanently restoring wetlands, adjacent native grassland wildlife habitat complexes and permanent riparian buffers. In cooperation with county Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), BWSR's programs compensate landowners for granting conservation easements and establishing native vegetation habitat on economically marginal, flood-prone, environmentally sensitive or highly erodible lands.

About 6,000 acres of Yellow Medicine County land is currently protected by a RIM Easement. Most of these easements are privately owned and maintained by landowners from all backgrounds. Many options are available to maintain and enhance these easements. Managed haying and grazing are available, as well as the addition of food plots for winter wildlife cover and feed. The SWCD conducts inspections of these easements for the first 5 years and every third year after that. Landowners receive confirmation of this review usually late summer into fall.

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MN LAND TRUST’s Accelerating Habitat Conservation in Southwest Minnesota Program could be another alternative, especially for lands that have not been in production for an extended period of time. 

To qualify:

  • The property must be located within the program area (properties located within the wildlife action network or prairie plan areas (shown on map) may be given a higher priority).

    • Be at least 20 acres in size

  • Contain less than 20% of proposed easement area in cultivation or have the potential to restore currently cultivated land (in excess of 20%) to native vegetation.

 

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Applications will be reviewed, ranked and prioritized and will be funded in order of

assigned priority.

If your application is selected:

An appraisal will determine the value of the proposed conservation easement. This is done by determining the value of your land without the easement, and then the value of your land with the easement in place. The difference between the two is the easement value. The easement value ultimately stems from the property rights that have been restricted and the appraised value of those rights.

A typical payment would be 40-60% of the county-assessed value of the land.   The one-time payment can not exceed the appraised easement value.

Contact Brayden Anderson at the SWCD today to discuss your easement options!