CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAMS
Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) Riparian Buffer Easements
The RIM program started in 1986 and is still active pending state legislative funding. The main goal is to take marginal cropland out of production to improve water quality, reduce flooding, and increase wildlife habitat. Currently in Faribault County, 904 acres are enrolled with 93% of the acres under perpetual easements. The RIM Reserve Clean Water Fund Riparian Buffer program is funded through the Minnesota Clean Water Fund, which was established in 2008, and offers landowners competitive payment rates to establish buffers of native vegetation along waterways. Only land in existing or new CRP contracts is eligible.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
This program is a combination of the state's RIM program and USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The sign-up started in 1999 and concluded in 2003. The main goal of the CREP program was to take marginal cropland adjacent to the Minnesota River and its tributaries as well as drained wetland areas out of production to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and increase wildlife habitat. Over 100,000 acres were enrolled in the Minnesota River Basin.
In Faribault County, 152 easements totaling over 3,900 acres were enrolled. 98% of the acres are enrolled under perpetual easements. 74 easements are wetland restoration projects and the remaining 78 are riparian land easements.
Other Federal Programs
There are some additional federal programs available on a periodic basis through the FSA and NRCS offices such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Continuous CRP.