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Wetland Mitigation Bank Provides Option for Farmers with Wetlands in Fields

Sept. 12, 2017 –– Credits are available in a southeastern Missouri Wetland Mitigation Bank created through a grant from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The bank, owned by Minton Environmental Consultants, LLC (MEC), allows farmers to remove or alter wetlands in their fields in exchange for purchasing credits in the mitigation bank. The credits correspond to an area of the mitigation bank that at least equals the size of the altered field wetlands.
USDA conservation compliance requires any farmer who converts a wetland for commodity production to offset that loss through mitigation to maintain eligibility for USDA benefits. Credits are available after a previously converted wetland is restored to form a wetland mitigation bank protected by a conservation easement.
“We have credits available through our bank site in Missouri,” said Davis Minton, who owns MEC along with his brother Bradley. “MEC has restored prior-converted cropland to a diverse wetland complex in order to provide environmentally sound, economically efficient wetland mitigation opportunities for farmers with a desire to mitigate wetlands.”
MEC is one of 10 wetland mitigation banks in the nation that last year received grants totaling $7 million from NRCS. The funding covers administrative costs and pays for engineering and marketing. No NRCS funds are used to purchase wetlands. The Missouri wetland, located near Dexter in Stoddard County, serves portions of Missouri and Arkansas.
“I am pleased that some Missouri farmers who have wetlands in their fields will have the option to purchase wetland credits, giving them more flexibility in their farming operations,” State Conservationist J.R. Flores said.
Flores said that wetlands are vital and dynamic ecosystems that provide important functions—from groundwater recharge to prime wildlife habitat.
Information about purchasing wetland credits is available at www.mintonec.com, via email at mintonec@gmail.com, or by calling (573) 421-3102. Information about wetland compliance requirements is available via the Missouri NRCS website (www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov) or from local NRCS offices.

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