South Dakota Farm Bureau is presenting a Wetland Mitigation Forum at Dakotafest on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 1:30 p.m., in the Reaves Technology and Innovation Building.

Wetland mitigation banking is a process that gives producers the chance to move a wetland from an existing field and use credits from the bank to replace it by creating a new or restored wetland within the same watershed. The price of the credits will be determined by supply and demand in an open market system.

“Soggy spots in fields are a nuisance for farmers,” said Wayne Smith, SDFB Wetlands Specialist. “The banking concept will increase efficiency and will also protect our water quality.”

The forum will provide attendees the opportunity to learn the latest updates on the project, how it will work and price discovery. Panelists include:

  • Shaun Vickers, National Wetland Mitigation Specialist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Kelly Olson, Assistant State Conservationist for Compliance with NRCS
  • David Patrick, Dakota Wetland Partners
  • Al Miron, a producer from rural Sioux Falls

Smith and Craig Rearick, with the Beadle County Conservation District, will moderate the forum.

SDFB, along with South Dakota Corn Growers, South Dakota Soybean Association and EcoAssets have collaborated to form Dakota Wetland Partners, which developed the framework for doing mitigation banking in South Dakota. Dakota Wetland Partners will be using the South Dakota Wetland Exchange to carry out wetland mitigation banking activities in the state.

 “Response from producers has been overwhelmingly positive,” added Smith. “We have heard from folks that are ready to start utilizing the bank to help increase their productivity and efficiency.”

The group will also be collecting names at the forum of those interested in the wetland mitigation banking opportunity.