USDA will invest up to $5 million in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetland Mitigation Banking Program. This will allow landowners to purchase credits from mitigation banks in exchange for the restoration, creation, and enhancement of wetlands. Landowners retain ownership of the conserved land, but the easement prevents harmful development. The credits compensate for wetlands lost to land and agricultural development, and pending the details of the future easement, producers gain access to larger credit quantities. Tribes, NGOs, and state and local governments can secure these USDA funds, and program participation keeps them qualified for other USDA programs that normally require wetland conservation provision compliance. Because wetlands conserved through the program are located away from a landowner’s property, the program accounts for circumstances where farmers might have a difficult time with traditional USDA compliance. NRCS funding will focus primarily on states with high concentrations of wetlands, such as the Midwest. Read more HERE.