The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property. Section 2403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) reauthorized GRP. The program emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grasslands that are under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development and other activities. Participants voluntarily limit future development of the land, while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and operations using rental contracts and conservation easements. Priority enrollment consideration will be given to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts that are within 12 months of expiration.
GRP is jointly administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). (The USDA Forest Service also has a role in holding easements on land adjacent to National Forests, at its discretion.)
The program has two enrollment options; (1) permanent easements and (2) rental contracts with terms of 10-, 15-, or 20-year terms. Enrollment of eligible expiring CRP lands into GRP will be limited to perpetual easements or 20-year rental contracts.
Grasslands make up the largest land cover on America's private lands. Privately-owned grasslands and shrublands cover more than 525 million acres in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will direct financial resources and technical expertise to help landowners protect and restore these lands. Go to the NRCS National website for additional information about this program.
Fiscal Year 2013 GRP
The application deadline for the FY13 Grassland Reserve Program is June 7, 2013.
NRCS is accepting applications for new contracts and enrollments, however; there is no timeframe for when funding or ranking will occur. NRCS will continue to serve prior-year contracts and agreements.
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