August 11, 2022
Fargo, US 70 F

Newly funded federal conservation program offers revenue for wetlands protection

Landowners who lost ground to flooding may be eligible for a federal conservation program that offers revenue for wetlands protection.

“The Water Bank Program can be helpful to landowners in the Devils Lake Basin and in other eligible areas of the state where flood waters have taken cropland and pasture land out of production,” Governor Jack Dalrymple said.

The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing about $7 million to help landowners in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.  The program will be offered in most of North Dakota. For more information about the Water Bank Program, landowners and operators should contact their local NRCS office.

Landowners and operators will be able to sign 10-year rental agreements and receive annual payments on land currently under water. The NRCS will begin accepting applications April 20, 2012. Preliminary indications are that cropland payments will be about $50 per acre.

State officials also are moving forward on several projects to reduce flooding for residents and landowners throughout the Devils Lake Basin and to regain control of the lake’s long-term elevation.

The state’s west-end water outlet began discharging Devils Lake water in early April and work is underway to complete construction and begin operating the East Devils Lake outlet in June. Work also is underway to build a gravity flow outlet for additional water releases. The outlets will reduce the lake’s long-term elevation and lead to the continued recovery of farmland and the restoration of road access.

Source: Office of Governor Dalrymple

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