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USDA seeks Michigan applications to restore wetlands

EAST LANSING — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications from Michigan landowners who want to restore wetlands on their property. Applications submitted by Nov. 12 will be considered for selection for the current fiscal year.

Land that formerly contained a wetland but was converted to agricultural use may be eligible for enrollment in the USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program provides financial assistance for restoring wetlands and the purchase of long-term or permanent easements from landowners. Landowners enrolled in the program retain ownership of the land and control over access to the property as well as recreational use of the land.

The USDA restores and purchases wetland easements for their environmental benefits. Wetlands improve water quality by filtering water before it enters lakes and rivers. Wetlands also store water following heavy rains and snowmelts, reducing the frequency and severity of flood events and recharging ground water. Wetlands also provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including fish, waterfowl, raptors, amphibians and many others.

Landowners can find out more about the USDA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and wetland restoration by contacting their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office. Office contact information is available at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov

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