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Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

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ACEP Program Sign-up Deadline: November 18, 2016

Landowners and entities interested in applying for a conservation easement can submit applications any time to a USDA NRCS Service Center, however, applications must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2016 to be considered for the initial application batch cut-off date for fiscal year 2017 funding.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.  Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.


Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses.  Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space.


Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE)

Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.


Additional ACEP Information

ACEP Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.2MB)


Program Contact

Loren F. Unruh, Leader for Programs, (503) 414-3235.
Bari Williams, Easement Program Specialist, (503) 414-3226.

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

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