Wetlands in Minnesota
The Star Tribune reported that in Minnesota there is an increasing problem of the disappearance of "prairie potholes" or small ponds and wetlands.
Potholes are a habitat for almost 200 species of migratory birds, the Star Tribune said.
Farmers are ending land-preservation agreements and filling in the land to have more places to plant crops, because of the federal inducements to plant more and the financial rewards of renting out land.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating if potholes are being illegally drained, by flying over the landscape.
A study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office "estimated that it will take 150 years and billions of dollars for the agency to acquire enough land to sustain healthy bird populations."
Because of the increased cost of land, landowners can make more money by renting rather than leaving it in it's natural state.
Around 420,000 potholes are currently in Minnesota and purify water.
In the 1990s contracts were signed by farmers for 10- to 15- year agreements to leave the land as a wildlife habitat, but the trend is changing to turn the land to farm land once the contracts are up, Brent Olson, a farmer in the area, said.
The demand for corn to make ethanol is encouraging farmers to plant more crops.
Draining the potholes will worsen the water quality and increase flood severity, Steve Delehanty, wetland district manager for the Fish and wildlife Service in Morris, Minn., said.
This was the only article I could find on this feature.