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News Release

NRCS in Florida Announces Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

Signup by December 31

GAINESVILLE, Florida, November 22, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications from agricultural producers and forest landowners from Florida for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). While USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts ACEP applications year-round producers and landowners should apply by December 31, 2021 to be considered for funding in the current cycle.

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 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 component, NRCS helps restore, protect, and enhance enrolled wetlands.

“This is a great opportunity to combat the climate crisis and conserve Florida’s lands, biodiversity, and natural resources,” said Juan Hernandez, NRCS Florida State Conservationist.

Agricultural Land Easements 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. Wetland Reserve Easements 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.

Special provisions are available for historically underserved producers, which include those considered socially disadvantaged and limited resource as well as military veterans.

To apply for ACEP, contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center. Find your local Service Center