JEFFERSON CITY, MO  A government agency is putting up around $9 million to help land owners restore and protect wetland ecosystems by selling land easements. The Natural Resources and Conservation Service of Missouri is putting up the money and made available through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.

The easement may occur on public or private agricultural land or residential properties damaged by flooding or natural disasters.
The NRCS are accepting applications through October 18.

The eligible Missouri counties are: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Barry, Barton, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Caldwell, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Douglas, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Wayne, Webster, and Wright.

“Landowners across Missouri have faced—and continue to face—significant challenges from flooding and natural disasters,” said Missouri NRCS State Conservationist J.R. Flores. “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.”

Missouri landowners are encouraged to contact their local NRCS field offices to apply or learn more about floodplain easement opportunities. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mo/programs/easements/ for more information about NRCS easement programs.

Photo courtesy of Sherri Thomas