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ND ag dept sets up wetland credits database

BISMARCK -- North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has activated an online service to connect farmers and ranchers needing wetland credits with agricultural landowners who have available wetlands.

Under the Wetland Conservation Act, a farmer can't drain or reduce a wetland on his or her property without creating or expanding a wetland elsewhere. Farmers also can replace lost wetlands by obtaining wetland credits from a landowner who has eligible wetlands.

Goehring says his department doesn't participate in the negotiations between landowners. But he says the wetland credits database that can be found on the department's website at can help bring the parties together.

The database was authorized by the Legislature earlier this year.