The development of partnerships within watersheds is an early step in the planning process for buffers. In many cases, partnerships are formed before project sites are selected and goals identified. Strong partnerships often lead to increased opportunities to leverage staff and volunteer time, funding, and resources such as grant writing, technical knowledge, and equipment. Having many partners can help ensure that sufficient resources are in place to develop projects in the most critical areas and that appropriate relationships are established.
Collaborative efforts often lead to discussions that help project partners come up with the best options to meet project goals and develop successful projects. Key partners to consider include: federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, conservation groups, clubs, for-profits, tribes, local landowners, foundations, volunteer groups, and adjoining landowners. In some cases, landowners may be able to share equipment or other resources to establish buffer vegetation or conduct long-term management such as haying or control of noxious weeds.
The following information summarizes information about federal and state agency partners that may be able to provide assistance and funding for buffer programs. Program policies and allowable uses will vary between programs.
Summary of Federal Programs
- Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) - Farm Services Agency (FSA)
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - NRCS
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) - NRCS
- Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Summary of State Programs
- Clean Water Fund, RIM Riparian Buffer Conservation Easement Program - BWSR
- Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Fund, RIM Riparian Wildlife Buffer Conservation Easement Program - BWSR
- State Cost-share - SWCD
- Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program (CPL - DNR)
Note: Section 4.2.1 of BSWR's "Erosion Control and Water Management Program Policy" summarizes policies related to using the state Cost share program for buffer implementation.