Reinvest in Minnesota
In 1986, the Reinvest in Minnesota Resources Act was enacted to restore certain marginal and environmental sensitive agricultural land to protect soil and water quality and support fish and wildlife habitat. The program was a first of it’s kind in the country. Conservation practices are established by planting native vegetation, and restoring wetlands. RIM is a critical component of the state’s efforts to improve water quality by reducing soil erosion, and phosphorus and nitrogen loading. It’s designed to compensate landowners for granting conservation easements while retaining private ownership of their land. To date, the Reinvest in Minnesota program has spent over $250 million dollars resulting in 6,000 conservation easements across 250,000 acres. The Board of Water and Soil Resources provides state-level program coordination and administration while implementation at the local level is undertaken by Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
In Blue Earth County
About 8,000 acres of Blue Earth County land is currently protected by a RIM Easement. Most of these easements are privately owned and maintained by landowners from all backgrounds. Many options are available to maintain and enhance these easements. The SWCD conducts inspections of these easements for the first 5 years and every third year after that. Landowners receive confirmation of this review usually late summer into fall.
RIM Integrating Clean Water and Habitat
This program targets RIM projects in priority areas that contribute toward goals in Board approved and locally adopted Comprehensive Watershed Management Plans developed through the One Watershed, One Plan program.
This program is available across areas with approved plans and includes areas of the state that traditionally have not been eligible for RIM programs. In Blue Earth County, eligible acres must fall within the Watonwan River Watershed.
- Available anywhere a comprehensive watershed management plan has been approved and adopted statewide
- Integrates habitat planning with comprehensive watershed management planning and provides an incentive for habitat-based projects
- Implements locally driven conservation priorities as identified in comprehensive watershed management plans
- Stacks water quality and habitat benefits
In addition to standard RIM Reserve Program general eligibility criteria, applications must meet all three of the following:
- The project is identified in or makes a contribution to a goal in a BWSR approved and locally adopted Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan or eligible metro plan (see above).
- The project must leverage funds that benefit a priority water resource or contribute to a water related goal in a plan.
- The project must protect, restore, or enhance habitat for fish, game, and other wildlife.
Enrollment Focus and Sign-up Schedule
This program is open statewide in areas with approved plans. Enrollment begins 2/1/2023. Funding decisions will be made quarterly and the first batching period deadline is March 31th, 2023. Subsequent batching periods are the last day of the month in June, September, December and March.