In 2005, Ducks Unlimited (DU) completed over $1 million worth of wetland restoration work in Montana on tracts of land enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). The restoration projects cover a total of 2,330 acres of wetland habitat making it one of the largest engineering programs DU’s Great Plains Regional Office worked on that year.
Three of the restoration projects were located in Flathead County, and one project each in Hill County, Gallatin County and Lake County. These projects will provide breeding and migration habitat to waterfowl within the inter-mountain valleys of western Montana.
DU delivers the wetland restoration projects under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture –Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Landowners with restorable wetlands are eligible to enroll in the program. The land is secured by a conservation easement, and NRCS pays for the wetland restorations. DU provides the engineering and construction management to deliver the restorations.
NRCS and DU will continue to work cooperatively to restore wetlands across the state of Montana via the WRP.
As wetlands continue to be lost programs such as the WRP are invaluable in helping to slow the loss rates. Each project seeks to restore and enhance natural hydrology to benefit the wetland community and its associated wildlife.