Viewpoint: Protecting the flood plain

It's easy to criticize government programs, but from time to time, one comes along that might produce some good.

We think one of these is the flood plain recovery program the Natural Resources Conservation Service offered recently.

All this rain we've seen recently really brings the purpose of the program into focus. The program is designed to put floodplains, where people have built houses, or planted crops, back into their natural state.

The government pays up to 100% of the cost of restoration.  If the land is crop land, trees will be planted, and native vegetation will return. If there's a house or other structure there, the government will pay to relocate it.

While the land can't be developed, landowners still own the land, and can use it for hunting and fishing.

This will help restore the natural floodplains of the rivers in the state.

The benefits for us all would be reduced erosion, improved water quality, protection of fish and wildlife habitat, and protection of endangered species.

We salute the effort to restore Georgia's floodplain.