With the 2012 Farm Bill moving through the U.S. Congress right now, it looks like conservation programs will be slashed significantly. So it’s good news to hear the USDA is funding a program separate from the conservation programs in the farm bill. The Water Bank Program is aimed at reducing flooding and enhancing wildlife habitat.
Flooding of agricultural land is a problem in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To provide an alternative use for flooded or frequently flooded lands, participants will receive annual payments.
Protection of wetlands gives migratory birds a place to rest and feed and also recharges aquifers. Wetlands also reduce flooding by slowing down the flow of water during heavy rains.
Minnesota wetland photo via Shutterstock