Thursday, February 16, 2006

ACTION ITEM: The Alliance's First Action Item

Minnesota River Watershed Alliance members are moving forward on an action item to obtain local support to unlock an additional 15,000 acres of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) lands in the Minnesota River Watershed. This is a significant undertaking. The ultimate goal is to raise more than $7 million by December 2007; however, any amount raised will make CREP acres available -- there is no minimum requirement. Even $800 will buy an acre of habitat. A local match must be raised to receive Federal funding.

CREP I is a tried and tested program, and its permanent easement means permanent savings for taxpayers. CREP is working now to:

  • Create and generate biological diversity
  • Create and generate water quality
  • Create more habitat
  • Create more recreational opportunities
  • Reduce sediment
  • Control flooding
  • Generate sustainable tourism
  • Create wildlife corridors
  • Reduce ditch maintenance
  • Attract new landowners to the watershed
  • Produce more game birds
  • Raise the tax base
  • Provide aesthetic value
  • Reduces hypoxia zone

Q: Who do I write out the check to and where do I send it?
A: Please make your check out to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) with “Minnesota River CREP” on the memo line. This is a 100% tax deductible contribution. Your cancelled check will be your receipt.
Mail your check to:
Shannon Fisher
Director of the Minnesota River Board
184 Trafton Science Center South
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001

Q: Will any of my CREP donation money be used for administrative costs?
A: Absolutely no money that you donate for CREP acres will be used for administrative costs.

Q: Where is the land to be put into CREP?
A: There is already a waiting list of interested landowners.