Conservation Easement Programs

Conservation easements are a critical component of the state’s efforts to improve water quality by reducing soil erosion, phosphorus and nitrogen loading, and improving wildlife habitat and flood attenuation on private lands. Easements protect the state’s water and soil resources by permanently restoring wetlands, adjacent native grassland wildlife habitat complexes and permanent riparian buffers. In cooperation with county Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) programs compensate landowners for granting conservation easements and establishing native vegetation habitat on economically marginal, flood-prone, environmentally sensitive or highly erodible lands.

MapViewer forhomepage Interactive map of state funded conservation easements

Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) 2017

CREP is an offshoot of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the country’s largest private-land conservation program. Administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), CREP targets state-identified, high-priority conservation issues. This project is a federal, state, and local partnership and will voluntarily retire environmentally sensitive land using the nationally-recognized ReInvest In Minnesota (RIM) Reserve program. This is accomplished through permanent protection by establishing conservation practices via payments to farmers and agricultural land owners. CREP is implemented locally through Soil and Water Conservation Districts and many other partners.

Minnesota River CREP 1999-2003

This program was a combination of the state's RIM program and USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  The sign-up started in 1999 and concluded in 2003.  The main goal of the CREP program was to take marginal cropland adjacent to the Minnesota River and its tributaries as well as drained wetland areas out of production to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and increase wildlife habitat.  Over 100,000 acres were enrolled in the Minnesota River Basin.

In Faribault County, 152 easements totaling over 3,900 acres were enrolled.  98% of the acres are enrolled under perpetual easements.  74 easements are wetland restoration projects and the remaining 78 are riparian land easements.





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 Faribault County Ag Center • 415 S Grove Street, Suite 8 Blue Earth MN 56013 • Phone 507-526-2388 • Fax 507-526-2508 • M-F 7:00AM-4:30PM Site Designed by BEVCOMM