Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that farmers, ranchers and Indian tribes enrolled more than 272,000 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program in fiscal year 2010. The fiscal 2010 enrollment is the highest single-year enrollment in the program’s history. It’s also a 52 percent increase over fiscal 2009 when 179,000 acres were enrolled. There are now more than 2.3 million acres enrolled in WRP nationwide.
“Through this historic enrollment in this proven conservation program, landowners and conservation partners are affirming their commitment to restoring and protecting the nation’s wetland resources,” said Vilsack. “Wetlands are essential to a healthy environment, and conservation-minded landowners are improving water quality, providing habitat for wildlife, mitigating floods and improving the overall environment for all Americans.”
WRP, the federal government’s largest wetlands restoration program, provides technical and financial assistance to protect and enhance wetlands. More than 80 percent of restorable wetlands are in private ownership. Participation in WRP is voluntary.