Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
General Program Description
The Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) whose purpose is to protect agricultural lands by limiting non-agricultural uses. NRCS partners with approved state, local, and non-profit entities who arrange for the purchase of development rights through conservation easements on private lands. The entity holds and manages these conservation easements in perpetuity.
The 2008 Farm Bill and Interim Final Rule have changed how the program works.
Please read all application materials carefully.
Applications are accepted on a continuing basis.
Notice of 2013 Program Funding
All funds will be used to reimburse the entities for up to 50% of the purchase price of the conservation easement on approved parcels. All parcels are ranked individually on their own merit. Funds will be awarded to the highest ranked eligible parcels through a statewide competitive process.
Entity Eligibility Criteria
Any state or local unit of government, or non-profit organization can apply for FRPP funds by demonstrating
A commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands
A capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements
Sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship
The availability of funds
Selected and Funded Projects
Eligible entities will sign an agreement with NRCS for a period of three years. Within 30 days of agreement signing, the entity will be required to submit a draft easement deed for NRCS approval.
Eligible land must:
Be privately owned
Contain at least 50% prime, unique, statewide, or locally important farmland
Be subject of a pending offer
Contain cropland, grassland, pasture land, or forest land that contributes to the economic viability of an agricultural operation
Not include forest land of greater than two-thirds of the easement
Possess on-site and off-site conditions which will allow the easement to be effective in achieving the purposes of the program
The eligibility of the land and the landowner for each parcel must be established at the time the parcel is submitted for potential funding.
For each parcel, the landowner's legal name and contact information must be provided. A CCC-901 Members Information form must be signed by the landowner.
The landowner must be compliant with Highly Erodible and Wetland Conservation provisions of the 1985 Farm Bill, as amended. A current AD-1026 must be on file with the Farm Service Agency or submitted with the application.
Landowners also must meet the adjusted gross income limitation, earning less than $1 million in non-farm income for each of the past three years, unless more than 66% of the total gross income was from farm income. A current CCC-926 must be included with the application.
Forest management plans are required on all parcels with forest cover on greater than 10 acres or 10% of the easement area (whichever is greater). If the parcel requires a forest management plan, a certification by the landowner that such a plan will be completed prior to closing is needed.
NRCS Parcel Ranking Process
Changes have been made in the ranking criteria to comply with national and state needs. The draft 2010 criteria includes:
Some of the following documents require Adobe Acrobat.
As part of the ranking and eligibility process, NRCS will complete a pre-acquisition database search for hazardous materials on or near the parcel. In addition, NRCS will conduct an on-site visit to determine the condition of the land. NRCS will also interview the landowner to ensure that all FRPP requirements are understood and that any information collected is accurate and complete.
As a condition for participation, NRCS will develop a conservation plan for all Highly Erodible Land. To ensure compliance with the plan, the easement shall grant to the U.S. -- through NRCS and its successor or assigns -- a right of access to the easement area.
Due to the inclusion of personal and private information, no electronic submittals will be accepted. Applications should be marked "PRIVATE" and addressed to:
FRPP Program Manager
344 Merrow Road, Suite A
Tolland, CT 06084-3917
Program Application Materials
Connecticut Success Stories
Phone: (860) 871-4028