Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Final Rule Simplifies Conservation Easement Process
Public comments will be accepted through Feb. 23, 2011 on easement process
DOVER, Del., January 25, 2011—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently issued the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) final rule, which will make protecting important farm lands easier.
The FRPP final rule reflects input given to NRCS from landowners and partners on simplifying the easement process. Under the final rule, cooperating partners can now purchase development rights from a landowner through a streamlined process. Changes to the rule will make it possible for more entities to be certified and give them greater flexibility to manage the easement process.
Since the beginning of the program in 1996, Delaware NRCS has worked with the Delaware Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation to enroll approximately 22,000 acres into FRPP for $28 million.
FRPP provides matching funds to help state, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements on private working lands. Lands eligible for FRPP include cropland, pastureland, and forestland, among others.
The final rule is now in effect; however, NRCS is providing an additional 30-day public comment period for the changes made to the easement process. Comments can be submitted through Feb. 23, 2011 to Mark Rose, FRPP Program Manager, Easement Programs Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Post Office Box 2890, Washington, D.C. 20013; Fax: (202) 720-9689; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the final rule, go to www.regulations.gov or the Federal Register at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/. For more information about NRCS conservation programs, visit www.de.nrcs.usda.gov, or go to your nearest USDA Service Center.
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