In response to recent flooding impacting many parts of the United States, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of $217.5 million dedicated to funding conservation easements on certain lands damaged by flooding and other natural disasters.
Funds are made available through the floodplain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP-FPE). The 11 states currently identified for funding include: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
“Landowners across the United States have faced—and continue to face—significant challenges from flooding and natural disasters,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “To provide relief and assist agricultural landowners during this difficult time, this easement program offers an option that alleviates the stress of operating in a floodplain while still retaining ownership of their property.”
On June 6, 2019, President Trump signed an emergency supplemental appropriations bill providing relief and support to America’s farmers and ranchers. This bill provides $4.5 billion to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for agricultural-related losses, emergency timber restoration, farmland repair and watershed recovery work to help America’s farmers and ranchers.
The EWPP-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 as 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.
Individuals and communities in any state are encouraged to contact their local NRCS field offices for more information on these floodplain easement opportunities.
Property owners interested in applying for EWPP-FPE can review program information on the Floodplain Easement webpage. More information about the EWPP-FPE can be obtained from your local USDA NRCS Field Office