DENVER -- The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently announced the availability of funds for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) in Colorado for fiscal year 2012. The GRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, February 24, 2012.
“The GRP program was reauthorized by the 2008 Farm Bill and emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grasslands under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development, and other activities,” said Phyllis Ann Philipps, NRCS State Conservationist, Colorado.
The GRP is jointly administered by FSA and NRCS. The program has three enrollment options:
Permanent easements with landowners where NRCS holds the easement
Permanent easements with an “eligible entity” (i.e., Land Trust) that holds the easement
Rental Contracts administered by FSA with terms of 10-, 15-, and 20-years
Enrollment of eligible expiring CRP lands into GRP will be limited only to perpetual easements or 20-year rental contracts.
To apply for this program and for additional information regarding it, landowners are encouraged to contact their local NRCS or FSA office that services their county. These are located in USDA Service Centers across the State and can be found online at www.co.nrcs.usda.gov by clicking on ‘Find a Service Center’ in the left hand column.