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FY 2004 Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) | Utah NRCS

General Program Description

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program that helps landowners and operators restore and protect grassland, including rangeland and pastureland, and certain other lands, while maintaining the areas as grazing lands.

The program emphasizes:

  • Support for grazing operations
  • Native and natural grasslands and shrub lands
  • Plant and animal biodiversity, and
  • Grasslands under the greatest threat of conversion.

GRP is authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill . The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administer the program, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service. Funding for the GRP comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).  Producers can apply at the local USDA Service Center in Utah. 

The documents below require Adobe Acrobat

GRP NEPA Documents (PDF, 456 KB)
News Release (6-17-2003) (PDF, 37 KB)
Grassland Reserve Program Fact Sheet (PDF, 71 KB)
Grassland Reserve Program Key Points  (PDF, 64 KB)
Grassland Reserve Program Questions & Answers  (PDF, 89 KB)

How Grassland Reserve Program Works

Applications may be filed for a rental agreement or easement with NRCS or FSA at any time. Batching dates are established to evaluate and select applications for funding.  April 16, 2004 is the cutoff date for applications to be considered for this year's allocation of funds.  All applications on file through that date will be evaluated and prioritized for 2004 funding.

Participants voluntarily limit future use of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices; produce hay, mow, or harvest for seed production (subject to certain restrictions during the nesting season of bird species that are in significant decline or those that are protected under Federal or State law); and conduct fire rehabilitation and construct firebreaks and fences.

The program offers several enrollment options:

Rental Agreement:  Participants have the option of choosing a 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, or 30-year easement. USDA will provide annual payments in an amount that is not more than 75 percent of the grazing value of the land covered by the agreement for the life of the agreement. Payments will be disbursed on the agreement anniversary date each year.

Utah Rental Rates (County Dollars per Acre, per Year):

Beaver:  $5.00
Iron:  $5.00
Sevier:  $6.75
Box Elder:  $5.00
Juab:  $5.00
Summit:  $6.00
Cache:  $7.00
Kane:  $5.00
Tooele:  $5.00
Carbon:  $5.00
Millard:  $5.00
Uintah:  $5.00
Daggett:  $5.00
Morgan:  $6.50
Utah:  $6.50
Davis:  $6.00
Piute:  $6.50
Wasatch:  $6.00
Duchesne:  $5.00
Rich:  $7.00
Washington:  $5.00
Emery:  $5.00
Salt Lake:  $6.00
Wayne:  $5.00
Garfield:  $5.00
San Juan:  $5.00
Weber:  $6.00
Grand:  $5.00
Sanpete:  $6.75

Permanent Easement:  This is a conservation easement in perpetuity. Easement payments for this option equal the fair market value, less the grassland value of the land encumbered by the easement. These values will be determined using an appraisal process.

30-year Easement:  USDA will provide an easement payment equal to 30 percent of the fair market value of the land, less the grassland value of the land for the period during which the land is encumbered by the easement.

For both easement options, USDA will provide all administrative costs associated with recording the easement, including appraisal fees, survey costs, title insurance, and recording fees. Easement payments may be provided, at the participant’s request, in lump sum or annual payments (equal or unequal amounts) for up to 10 years.

Restoration agreement:  If restoration is determined necessary by NRCS, a restoration agreement will be incorporated within the rental agreement or easement. The cost share rate for restoration practices in Utah is 50 percent of the restoration costs.  Participants will be paid upon certification of the completion of the approved practice(s) by NRCS or an approved third party. Participants may contribute to the application of a cost-share practice through in-kind contributions.

Ranking Criteria

Applications will be evaluated and selected based on state ranking criteria.  For 2003, priority will be given to applications for rental agreements and for existing grassland under greatest threat of conversion.  

Utah 2004 GRP Ranking  (PDF, 157 KB)

Eligibility:  Landowners who can provide clear title are eligible to submit an application for either easement option. Landowners and others who have general control of the acreage may submit an application for a rental agreement.

The Adjusted Gross Income provision of the 2002 Farm Bill impacts eligibility for GRP and several other 2002 Farm Bill programs. Individuals or entities that have an average adjusted gross income exceeding $2.5 million for the three tax years immediately preceding the year the contract is approved are not eligible to receive program benefits or payments. However, an exemption is provided in cases where 75 percent of the adjusted gross income is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry operations.

Eligible land includes grassland or land that contains forbs or shrubs (including improved rangeland and pastureland); and grassland or land that is located in an area that historically has been dominated by grassland, forbs, and shrubs and has potential to provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value if the land is retained in its current use or restored to a natural condition. Incidental lands may be included to allow for the efficient administration of an agreement or easement.

To Apply:

Application signup is an ongoing process and can be done online or completed at your local USDA Service Center with NRCS or FSA.


Application form (AD-1153)  (PDF, 73 KB)

For more Information, please contact your local USDA Service Center

State  
Shane Green, State Range Management Specialist, 801-524-4567, Shane.Green@ut.usda.gov

Additional information and application forms may be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp/.