Historically, low-lying forests were prominent in the Lower Mississippi River Valley (LMRV). In the early 1800s, Thomas Nuttall described the LMRV as a “vast, trackless wilderness of trees, a dead solemnity…All is rude nature as it sprang into existence still preserving its primeval type, unclaimed exuberance.” C.S. Sargeant, in 1884, reported that the Valley “possessed a wealth of timber of the most valuable kinds in a surprising variety.”
Over generations, many of these low-lying forested lands were cleared, changing the landscape. Yet, in some cases, these lands are not as productive for crops and may be better suited for forests. Consequently, many landowners have become interested in planting these lands with bottomland hardwoods and protecting them.
Existing bottomland hardwoods or areas where the landowner desires to convert the site to bottomland hardwoods qualify for Wetland Reserve Easements.
Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.