Contact: Celi Haga, 651-315-5082 (c)
St. Paul, Minn.— Conservation easements have been an important and popular tool in Minnesota’s efforts to conserve and protect our water, wildlife, and soil resources. The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) announced today the results of the 2015 ReInvest in Minnesota (RIM) Wetlands program sign-up, which continues that tradition. Interest in the program far exceeded available funds, demonstrating the longstanding commitment of Minnesotans to play a role in moving the state toward its conservation goals.
During this year’s sign-up, 44 applications were funded, putting 4,655 acres into permanent protection.
“Landowner interest in RIM programs has historically been high,” BWSR Easement Section Manager Bill Penning said, “and the applications we received for the RIM Wetlands program continue that trend. With the help of our local partners, we were able to work quickly to get this program up and running. That’s good news for Minnesota’s waters and wildlife.”
The 2015 RIM Wetlands sign-up was conducted in partnership with local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs). During one month’s time, BWSR received 177 applications for the program representing almost 12,000 acres.
The RIM Wetlands program is a voluntary program that restores wetlands and grasslands through permanent conservation easements on privately owned lands. BWSR has received funding for this program from the constitutionally-dedicated Outdoor Heritage Fund, which is part of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Funding was based on a recommendation from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Landowners receive financial incentives for their participation in the program and the land they enroll will result in restored wetlands that enhance wildlife habitat, improve water quality and provide other resource benefits.
For more information about the RIM Wetlands program, and other easement programs, visit the BWSR website: www.bwsr.state.mn.us.