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Wetland restoration


Minnesota possessed about 18.5 million acres of wetlands in 1950; by the 1980s, the acreage had been reduced to 7.5 million acres. An innovative, locally-administered state program is helping to bring back a part of this heritage.

The wetland restoration component of the Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Program acquires perpetual conservation easements from landowners to restore drained wetlands and convert them back to their natural state. The program provides limited funding to cover costs associated with restoring drained wetlands and establishing vegetative cover on adjacent uplands. The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) administers the program through local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs). Cooperating agencies and conservation organizations often contribute financial assistance to participating landowners when their costs exceed the state's payment limits. In addition, cooperating agencies provide technical assistance directly to the participating landowners or to SWCDs. The objective of this paper is to provide a summary of the RIM Reserve Wetland Restoration Program's operation and highlight it's accomplishments.

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