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Red River Basin Wildlife and Water Quality Enhancement Pilot Program

Program Description

Wildlife and water, two of North Dakota’s most important natural resources, provide recreational benefits and are the foundation for many economic opportunities across the state. This program aims to increase wildlife habitat and reduce potential nonpoint sources of pollutants impairing water quality and will benefit wildlife, pollinators and water quality in the Red River Valley. Seven Soil Conservation Districts in the Red River Basin are coordinating with the ND Game and Fish Department and ND Department of Environmental Quality to develop cost share agreements which help agricultural producers establish vegetation on marginally productive cropland acres. Additional cost share is available for management and maintenance of the vegetation. The program is available in Cass, Grand Forks, Griggs, Ransom, Richland, Sargent and Walsh counties.


The primary objectives of the program are to increase wildlife habitat and improve water quality in the Red River Valley. Marginally productive croplands (e.g., saline areas, flood prone sites, etc.) in the uplands and along riparian corridors are the primary focus of the program. Public access is not required with this program, however, producers interested in additional incentives for public access may contact the North Dakota Game and Fish Private Lands Section.


Participating SCDs will deliver the program locally and help producers determine practices for marginally productive croplands. Eligible practices include native grass plantings, introduced grass plantings, pollinator plantings, riparian buffers, grassed waterways and filter strips.


Cost share for eligible practices is sixty percent (60%), supported with Outdoor Heritage funds. The balance of costs (i.e., 40%) will be the responsibility of the producer.

In addition to cost share, producers are also eligible to receive payments for the management and maintenance of select practices.

Management agreements can be up to 10 years in length and the payments will be based on local county rental rates.

Payments to the producers can be provided as an annual or lump-sum payment and cannot exceed sixty percent (60%) of the local county rental rate.

For more information on the program contact your local Soil Conservation District: