language to be deleted (2) new language
stricken= old language to be removed underscored = new language to be added 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.