Hoeven: NRCS Accepting Applications for Wetland Mitigation Banking Program

As Chair of Ag Appropriations, Senator Secured $5 Million in Funding for Program to Assist Producers Subject to Conservation Compliance

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $5 million available through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured funding for this program to assists producers in maintaining eligibility for USDA programs.

“Our farmers and ranchers know firsthand the importance of being good stewards and have the biggest stake in protecting their land,” said Hoeven. “We worked to authorize and fund the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program because it provides an important resource to assist farmers in remaining conservation compliant for USDA programs." 

Hoeven worked to reauthorize the program in the current farm bill and included report language encouraging the Secretary of Agriculture to use an acre-for-acre ratio for wetland mitigation. Additionally, the senator has worked to secure $5 million to fund the program in the Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Appropriations Bill to assist producers with conservation compliance. North Dakota producers face unique challenges in maintaining compliance with NRCS requirements due to the state’s location in the Prairie Pothole Region. 

Under the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, NRCS will award $5 million in competitive grants to state and local governments, and other entities for mitigation banks, which help producers to maintain eligibility for USDA programs. USDA will accept applications submitted through Grants.gov through July 6, 2020. Additional information is available from NRCS here.