Questions for swamper
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By brmotorhead - 7/24/2013 9:52:20 AM
Looking for some advice from swamper since he seems to have quite a bit of knowledge in this kind of stuff, but im open to suggestions and ideas from others as well. Ive recently gained access to a fairly large chunk of property that is about 60-70% swamp. The main part of the swamp is fed by a river and the mouth is very wide. There are several wet and dry potholes that surround the main swamp. all of these potholes fill up and hold water for quite some time during the spring but then dry up through the summer. Even with all of the rain we have had this year it seems to me like they must still be leaching into the main swamp. The owners of the property took me there last week and want me to look into making several WRP projects out of the property. The DEC will not let them develop or build because it is classified as protected wetlands? They were going to sell the property but then decided this route was better as they are both hunters themselves and this is a prime piece of real estate for hunting whatever! From what ive seen, the property seems to be an excellent spot for a WRP project. My questions is where do I start? Who and where do I contact for permits if needed, and is there any state or federal financial support that can be applied for? The area is less than 1/4 mile from state swampland and several small lakes. I would love to make this a hot spot for waterfowl in both the spring and fall but really do not have a clue as to what im doing. Like i said before, the main water source seems to come from the river, and due to the layout of the land closing off the mouth of the swamp that meets the river to control the larger part of the swamp is out of the question im sure. But the smaller potholes surrounding the swamp im sure could be turned into something very useful and productive. I did not get any photos while i was there but i may be able to get some later on.
By Swamper - 7/24/2013 8:43:24 PM
loads of questions.

but I can simplify. you need to contact your local NRCS representative.  he or she can tell you all the threshold requirements needed to enroll in a WRP or USFW Partnership.  for example, the land must have been owned for a minimum of seven years (some exceptions can be allowed) to be an acceptable candidate for enrollment.

permits are the responsibility of the land owner.  they must be applied for from the NYDEC and the Army Corp of Engineers.

30 year or life in perpetuity deed restrictions will be required on the land. 

the owners will have to get actively involved in this.

Monies in the WRP programs are being slashed and a new farm bill with generous WRP budgets are needed.  Right now, in the swamperland area, there are many more applicants than there are funds. I suspect this is true nationwide.

if you are lucky enough to qualify, you can expect a minimum of 2 years of paperwork, permits and engineering before you even put a shovel in the ground.  patience is an absolute necessity  to see these projects through.

I have completed 4 of them over the past 12 years. each one is unique and worth all the effort.

my most recent was completed just last week and is a moist soil managed (msm) unit.  they allow the water to be manipulated via raising and lowering the water levels during critical times of the year.    they are the most productive with regard to hunting, nesting and all around sustainable habitat.

as first mentioned though, contact an NRCS rep to begin this undertaking.  good luck.
By brmotorhead - 7/28/2013 11:18:45 PM
thanks for the advise swamper! i was pretty sure that i was looking at a long process and a lot of work. i really want to take on this project, and last i spoke with the landowners they want to do it as well, but i dont really think they realize or fully understand what is involved. hopefully i can keep them interested enough to see this thing through.
By Swamper - 7/29/2013 4:49:01 PM
I would advise them to attend the initial meeting with the NRCS rep so that they can get all their questions answered and be fully on board.  there is a lot to it and plenty of paperwork to be completed throughout the process.