Wetland Workshop in Rockford

Get paid for restoring your land to its natural wetland state.

If you are a landowner in Kent, Newaygo or Ottawa counties and your property consists of drained wetland, you may be eligible to receive $2,000 to $5,000 per acre as well as assistance in restoring and protecting your land with a conservation easement.

Learn more about wetland restoration with the free Wetland Workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 28 at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club.

The Rogue River Watershed Council and Trout Unlimited, Inc., is partnering with Timberland RC&D, the Kent Conservation District, the Izaak Walton League, and the Department of Environmental Quality, to host this workshop.  The goal of the workshop is to inform landowners about the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetland Reserve Program, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

Speakers DEQ Wetland Restoration Coordinator Rob Zbiciak, Wetland Reserve Program Coordinator Betty Otto and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Program Biologist Gib King will talk about the importance of wetlands and the programs that provide support for landowners interested in wetland restoration.

Wetlands are vital to the life cycle of 50 percent of Michigan’s threatened or endangered species and provides a habitat for many migratory birds and fish.

In developed areas with impervious driveways and roads storm water and snow melt can cause flooding.  Wetlands serve as a reservoir, reducing flooding and erosion, while naturally collecting water and filtering sediment.

Landowners working with the Wetland Reserve Program act as “general contractor.” During the restoration phase they make an initial application and a perspective easement evaluation, then, clear encumbrances on titles. The actual restoration includes breaking tiles, plugging ditches and moving soil to provide a shallow water habitat.  Then nature takes care of the rest.

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program does not pay landowners per acre, but will cover the costs of the restoration process.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please RSVP by March 21, 2011 to Nichol De Mol at ndemol@tu.org or (231) 557-6362.

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