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News Release

NRCS Easements Protect Agricultural Lands, Wetlands and Grasslands

Applications for FY13 funds for three different easement programs due March 1.

Raymond Ranch near Flagstaff, ArizonaPHOENIX, Jan. 11, 2013 The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications year round for the Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. Applications requesting potential funding for FY13 must be submitted by March 1.

The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with State, Tribal or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landusers. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary conservation program that emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to other uses.

Participants voluntarily limit future development and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and operations related to the production of forage and seeding, subject to certain restrictions during nesting seasons of bird species that are in significant decline or are protected under Federal or State law. A grazing management plan is required for participants.

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) gives landusers the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. NRCS provides technical and financial support to help landusers with their wetland restoration efforts.

For more information visit to learn more about these easement programs, and to contact your local NRCS field office or call Jason Kepler at 620-280-8824.