United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: May 30, 2023
In return for the agreement of the owner or operator, the Secretary shall (1) make an annual payment to the owner or operator for the period of the agreement at such rate or rates as the Secretary determines to be fair and reasonable in consideration of the obligations undertaken by the owner or operator; and (2) bear such part of the average cost of establishing and maintaining conservation and development practices on the wetlands and adjacent areas for the purposes of this chapter as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. In making his determination, the Secretary shall consider, among other things, the rate of compensation necessary to encourage owners or operators of wetlands to participate in the water bank program. The rate or rates of annual payments as determined hereunder shall be increased, by an amount determined by the Secretary to be appropriate, in relation to the benefit to the general public of the use of the wetland areas, together with designated adjacent areas, if the owner or operator agrees to permit, without other compensation, access to such acreage by the general public, during the agreement period, for hunting, trapping, fishing, and hiking, subject to applicable State and Federal regulations. The rates of annual payment shall be adjusted, to the extent provided for in advance by appropriation Acts, in accordance with section 1302 of this title.