Wetlands Reserve Easements
The Wetlands Reserve Easements component of ACEP is a competitive program using statewide ranking systems to fund the most environmentally beneficial projects. Wetlands Reserve Easements allow landowners to voluntarily protect, restore and enhance wetlands while maximizing wildlife benefits.
Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Your local USDA-NRCS office will help you decide if your land is eligible.
To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.
How to Participate in the Program
There are four sign-up options.
Permanent Easements: Permanent Easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement. Additionally, NRCS pays between 75 to 100 percent of the restoration costs.
30-Year Easements: 30-year easements expire after 30 years. Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement. Additionally, NRCS pays between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
Term Easements: Term easements are easements that are for the maximum duration allowed under applicable State laws. NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the term easement. Additionally, NRCS pays between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
30-Year Contracts: 30-year contracts are only available to enroll acreage owned by Indian tribes, and program payment rates are commensurate with 30-year easements.
For wetland reserve easements, NRCS pays all costs associated with recording the easement in the local land records office, including recording fees, charges for abstracts, survey and appraisal fees, and title insurance.
Documents & Information
The following forms are available on the USDA Service Center e-Forms web site:
• Form AD-1153, Application for Long-Term Contracted Assistance
• Form AD-1159, Notice of Intent to Continue
• Form AD-1161, Application for Payment
Jaime Valentín, State Resource Conservationist, 787-766-5206, x. 121