WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 21, 2010, 06:02 PM

Conservation Service Helping Out Farmers with Flooded Land

The Natural Resource Conservation Service is giving land owners in the Red River Valley a way to make up losses from flooding.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service is giving land owners in the Red River Valley a way to make up losses from flooding.

A $140 million plan to save land owners money and slow down flooding has made its way to the Pembina area.

"This is a flood plain program there has to be frequent flooding and it also has to be under an emergency declaration by the president so we can just fund these the way we like to," said Pat Sweeny with NRCS for North Dakota.

150 farmers in North Dakota volunteered for an easement and to receive $2300 an acre from the Natural Resource Conservation Service. 41 landowners were funded by the program, including Pembina-area farmer Al Johnson, who knows how wet a North Dakota spring can be.

"You know when you lose 40 or 50 percent of your production in the spring it's timely to get this ground in. It's heavier ground and you can't mess around with it and you have to get in when it's time," said Al Johnson, who is receiving funding from the NRCS.

"They still retain the land its still theirs were, the government is not buying this land but it will allow it to freely flood the way it used to," Dave white the Chief of NRCS.

The land will be planted with native grasses and trees to help return the area to its natural state. That will help slow flooding into the Red River.

"From an environmental stand point, you're going to have some water quality benefits. The water will be filtered, you will have a lot of wildlife benefits, this will be a wildlife haven probably," White said.

It's a good deal for Johnson and a way to slow flooding in the valley.

"We had the option to accept or not accept. We looked at it hard and it was a great fit for us," said Johnson.

The funding was passed down by Congress in the Recovery Act.

Tags: