Wetlands and Upland Restoration in the Mississippi River Basin
We looked at incentive-based approaches to watershed management. Work in the bottomlands area included a white paper on crop base transfers and loan write-downs to leverage Wetlands Reserve Program funding. Work in the uplands areas included a white paper on riparian restoration benefits and two pilot restoration projects, one in the Piasa Creek watershed (Illinois) and one in the Chippewa River watershed (Minnesota). The Chippewa report recommended improving tillage and farm management practices, trying grass-based farming, restoring wetlands and riparian areas and using state and federal funding to share the costs of conservation activities. The Piasa report provided similar recommendations to address problems, which included a lack of land use planning and regulation, improper sewage disposal and uncontrolled stormwater runoff and erosion.
Formation of two watershed stewardship partnerships, two white papers, and two final reports with recommendations for incentive-based watershed management plans. Article in American Farmland. This work helped AFT establish a strong working relationship with the McKnight Foundation and set the stage for AFT’s grass-based farming efforts.