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Government Programs

Federal programs have been developed to encourage farmers to restore environmentally sensitive acres. The Conservation Reserve Program requires farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filter strips, or riparian buffers in order to receive federal subsidies. These areas not only cut down on erosion, the buffers actually act as natural water filtration systems. Currently, this program protects and restores up to 36.4 million acres of the most highly erodible and environmentally sensitive agricultural lands. The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program giving landowners financial incentives to restore and protect wetlands on their property. Nearly one million acres of wetlands are scheduled for restoration under this program by the year 2002.




Explore More: Water Quality
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
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