California Wetlands Information System

Management Agreements



Management agreements are used to formalize a variety of arrangements, made between a government resource agency or nonprofit organization and a land-owner, to achieve habitat improvement along with long-term management on private land. Management agreements usually center on an approved management plan, which is developed by field staff together with the landowner prior to formalizing the agreement. The management plan specifies the restoration or management practices the landowner will undertake. In exchange for implementing and maintaining these improvements over a period of time, the landowner receives partial financial compensation and technical assistance. Management agreements vary as to the proportion of costs paid to the landowner, the management focus, and the types of activities that can be funded. More than one project can usually be undertaken on a property, if desired, in agreements with one or more agency or nonprofit group. Some of the practices that management agreements encourage may benefit the landowner as well as the plants and wildlife that depend on wetlands. For example, when grain cropland is flooded during the winter to attract waterfowl, its value for crops can improve. The waterfowl and freshwater invertebrates help to break down crop residue and add nutrients to the soil. Creation or enhancement of wetland areas can also reduce loss of soil to erosion, improve groundwater recharge, or constitute part of a tailwater recovery system (a method of storing and reusing irrigation runoff). In addition, the landowner may be able to lease flooded cropland for waterfowl hunting. For landowners who are not prepared to make a permanent commitment to protecting land for conservation, a management agreement provides an opportunity to enhance wildlife habitat for the long term without relinquishing any property ownership rights. For more information about management agreements click here.
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