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                            CHAPTER 449-H.F.No. 2282 
                  An act relating to water; modifying provisions of the 
                  reinvest in Minnesota resources program; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 103F.515, 
                  subdivisions 2, 3, and 6. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 103F.515, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ELIGIBLE LAND.] (a) Land may be placed in the 
        conservation reserve program if the land meets the requirements 
        of paragraphs (b) and (c).  
           (b) Land is eligible if the land: 
           (1) is marginal agricultural land; 
           (2) is adjacent to marginal agricultural land and is either 
        beneficial to resource protection or necessary for efficient 
        recording of the land description; 
           (3) consists of a drained wetland; 
           (4) is land that with a windbreak would be beneficial to 
        resource protection; 
           (5) is land in a sensitive groundwater area; 
           (6) is riparian land; 
           (7) is cropland or noncropland adjacent to restored 
        wetlands to the extent of up to four acres of cropland or one 
        acre of noncropland for each acre of wetland restored; 
           (8) is a woodlot on agricultural land; 
           (9) is abandoned building site on agricultural land, 
        provided that funds are not used for compensation of the value 
        of the buildings; or 
           (10) is land on a hillside used for pasture.  
           (c) Eligible land under paragraph (a) must: 
           (1) be owned by the landowner, or a parent or other blood 
        relative of the landowner, for at least one year before the date 
        of application; 
           (2) be at least five acres in size, except for a drained 
        wetland area, riparian area, windbreak, woodlot, or abandoned 
        building site, or be a whole field as defined by the United 
        States Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Services; 
           (3) not be set aside, enrolled or diverted under another 
        federal or state government program; and 
           (4) have been in agricultural crop production for at least 
        two of the last five years before the date of application except 
        drained wetlands, riparian lands, woodlots, abandoned building 
        sites, or land on a hillside used for pasture. 
           (d) The enrolled land of a landowner may not exceed 20 
        percent of the average farm size in the county where the land is 
        being enrolled according to the average farm size determined by 
        the United States Department of Agriculture, Census of 
        Agriculture.  
           (e) In selecting drained wetlands for enrollment in the 
        program, the highest priority must be given to wetlands with a 
        cropping history during the period 1976 to 1985. 
           (f) (e) In selecting land for enrollment in the program, 
        highest priority must be given to permanent easements that are 
        consistent with the purposes stated in section 103F.505. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 103F.515, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [CONSERVATION EASEMENTS.] (a) The board may 
        acquire, or accept by gift or donation, conservation easements 
        on eligible land.  An easement may be permanent or of limited 
        duration.  An easement acquired on land for windbreak purposes, 
        under subdivision 2, may be only of permanent duration.  An 
        easement of limited duration may not be acquired if it is for a 
        period less than 20 years.  The negotiation and acquisition of 
        easements authorized by this section are exempt from the 
        contractual provisions of chapter 16B.  
           (b) The board may acquire, or accept by gift or donation, 
        flowage easements when necessary for completion of wetland 
        restoration projects. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 103F.515, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [PAYMENTS FOR CONSERVATION EASEMENTS AND 
        ESTABLISHMENT OF COVER.] (a) The board must make the following 
        payments to the landowner for the conservation easement and 
        agreement: 
           (1) to establish the perennial cover or other improvements 
        required by the agreement: 
           (i) except as provided in items (ii) and (iii), up to 75 
        percent of the total eligible cost not to exceed $75 per acre 
        for limited duration easements, and 100 percent of the total 
        eligible cost not to exceed $100 per acre for perpetual 
        easements,; 
           (ii) for native species restoration, 75 percent of the 
        total eligible cost not to exceed $150 per acre for limited 
        duration easements and 100 percent of the total eligible cost 
        not to exceed $200 per acre for perpetual easements; and 
           (iii) 100 percent of the total eligible cost of wetland 
        restoration not to exceed $300 per acre; 
           (2) for the cost of planting trees required by the 
        agreement, up to 75 percent of the total eligible cost not to 
        exceed $200 per acre for limited duration easements, and 100 
        percent of the total eligible cost not to exceed $300 per acre 
        for perpetual easements; 
           (3) for a permanent easement, 70 percent of the township 
        average equalized estimated market value of agricultural 
        property as established by the commissioner of revenue at the 
        time of easement application; 
           (4) for an easement of limited duration, 90 percent of the 
        present value of the average of the accepted bids for the 
        federal conservation reserve program, as contained in Public Law 
        Number 99-198, in the relevant geographic area and on bids 
        accepted at the time of easement application; or 
           (5) an alternative payment system for easements based on 
        cash rent or a similar system as may be determined by the board. 
           (b) For hillside pasture conservation easements, the 
        payments to the landowner in paragraph (a) for the conservation 
        easement and agreement must be reduced to reflect the value of 
        similar property.  
           (c) The board may establish a payment system for flowage 
        easements acquired under this section. 
           (d) For wetland restoration projects involving more than 
        one conservation easement, state payments for restoration costs 
        may exceed the limits set forth in this section for an 
        individual easement provided the total payment for the 
        restoration project does not exceed the amount payable for the 
        total number of acres involved. 
           (e) The board may use available nonstate funds to exceed 
        the payment limits in this section. 
           Presented to the governor April 4, 1996 
           Signed by the governor April 11, 1996, 11:36 a.m.