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Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) component is a voluntary program that provides an opportunity for eligible partners to receive financial assistance to purchase Agricultural land easements targeted at working agricultural lands. These perpetual easements 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.

  • Committed to long-term conservation of agricultural lands
  • Capable of acquiring, managing, and enforcing easements
  • Sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship
  • Available funds for acquisition, monitoring, and stewardship
  • State and local governments, non-governmental/non-profit organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement. Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.

To enroll land through agricultural land easements, NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners. Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.

How to Apply

To enroll land through agricultural land easements, eligible partners may submit proposals to NRCS to acquire conservation easements on eligible land. A partner will need to submit one NRCS-CPA-41 with their application package and one NRCS-CPA-41A for each parcel included in their application package. The forms are available on the eForms website.

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/getstarted

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