The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides funding to purchase conservation easements on eligible agricultural lands and wetlands. ACEP replaces the former Farm and Ranch Lands Protection, Grassland Reserve, and Wetlands Reserve Programs and streamlines the acquisition process for conservation easements. ACEP is comprised of two components: The agricultural land easement (ALE) and wetland reserve easement (WRE).
Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Components
NRCS works cooperatively with eligible partners to provide financial assistance to purchase Agricultural Land Easements that prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forestland.
Through the wetlands reserve easement component, NRCS works directly with private landowners to restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.