Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Press Release

Announcing Application Date for Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs

cows and flowers in field

NRCS New York announces February 9, 2024, as the second application deadline for Fiscal Year 2024 funding through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) New York announces February 9, 2024, as the second application deadline for Fiscal Year 2024 funding through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE).

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Through ALE, NRCS provides funds to eligible conservation partners for the purchase of conservation easements on privately owned farmland. Eligible partners include state or local agencies, non-profits and Indian Nations that have farmland or grassland protection programs. Private landowners interested in applying for ALE must work with an eligible partner who will apply to NRCS.

ALE easements protect critical natural resources and encourage private landowners to protect farmland through the voluntary sale of a conservation easement, which limits future development. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and forestlands.

For more information, please visit the NRCS New York ACEP Website, or contact Peter Gibbs at peter.gibbs@usda.gov or Erica Stach at erica.stach@usda.gov.

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Through WRE, NRCS helps private landowners and Indian Nations restore and protect wetland ecosystems. Wetlands provide many benefits, including critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. Wetlands also store floodwaters, clean and recharge groundwater, sequester carbon, trap sediment, and filter pollutants, improving water quality.

Wetland conservation easements are either permanent or 30 years in duration. Indian Nations also have an option for a 30-year contract.  Eligible lands include farmed, converted or degraded wetlands that can successfully be restored, croplands or grasslands subject to flooding, and riparian areas that link protected wetland areas. NRCS and the participant work together to develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland.

Interested participants should contact their local NRCS field office or visit the NRCS New York ACEP  Website for more information.

Each application pool will be ranked and considered for funding separately. The highest ranked applications in each pool will be selected based on the availability of funds. Applicants may apply at any time, however applications received after the posted deadline will be considered for funding during future application periods.