With the majority of counties in Minnesota in a federal disaster declaration following this year’s flooding, landowners in those counties are eligible to apply for the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Minnesota State Conservationist Troy Daniell was notified that landowners in Minnesota federally-declared counties are eligible to apply for an Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easement. Daniell announced an application period for EWP-FPE from Nov. 8, 2019 to Dec. 8, 2019. The NRCS currently has more than one million dollars available to fund conservation easements in Minnesota through EWP-FPE.

“Minnesota farmers and ranchers have suffered significant impact from the record rainfall events in the last year,” Daniell said. “This easement program provides an option instead of farming in a floodplain that is not highly productive land.

Through the EWP-FPE program, eligible applicants voluntarily agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. Theses easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

Minnesota landowners are encouraged to contact their local NRCS field offices to apply or learn more about floodplain easement opportunities. The EWP-FPE program is a voluntary program through which eligible applicants agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. Compensation is based on the value of the easement determined by an appraisal or market analysis. These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding and natural disasters. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition. For more information about NRCS easement programs, stop by your local NRCS office or visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mn/home/.