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News Release

USDA, NRCS in New Hampshire Announces Additional 2021 Application Cutoff Dates for Agricultural Land Easements

Contact:
Jeremy J. Fowler, Public Affairs Specialist, 362nd MPAD
603-868-9931


A banner advertising the ACEP-ALE Farm Bill Program: a group of cattle look toward the camera taking a break form chewing their silage in deep winter in New Hampshire.

 

DOVER, N.H. April 13, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Hampshire has established a second Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 application cutoff batching date for Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  The application cutoff batching date for ACEP-ALE will be May 28, 2021.  The application cutoff batching date for RCPP-ALE will be June 25, 2021. 

    Through ACEP Agricultural Land Easements (ALE), NRCS provides funds to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands. This program helps keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing development pressure.  Partners include state or local agencies, non-profits, and tribes. Landowners continue to own their property but voluntarily enter into a legal agreement with a cooperating entity to purchase an easement. The partner applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner to permanently protect the agricultural use and conservation values of the land.  Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under this option.  Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and forest lands. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land into the easement program. 

    The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners that offer value-added contributions to expand our collective ability to address on-farm, watershed, and regional natural resource concerns. Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the resource concerns they seek to address.  

    Through RCPP-ALE, NH NRCS has teamed up with the Upper Valley Land Trust and the Monadnock Conservancy to protect important agricultural and forestlands through permanent conservation easements.  This partner-driven effort leverages financial resources by prioritizing protection of eligible land that meets project-specific requirements.  All eligible landowners within Upper Valley Land Trust’s service area interested in applying with UVLT to RCPP-ALE or ACEP-ALE may contact Megan Chapman, UVLT Conservation Project Manager, at megan.chapman@uvlt.org for more information.  Interested landowners within Monadnock Conservancy’s service area may contact Pete Throop, Conservation Project Manager, at 603-357-0600 ext. 107 or pete@monadnockconservancy.org, for more information.

    Updated ranking criteria, application forms and other important program information can be found on the N.H. ACEP webpages: https://go.usa.gov/xdpRH.  Although ACEP applications may be filed on a continuous basis, management of the program requires periodic application cutoff dates to establish batching periods during which complete and eligible applications received prior to the cutoff date may be considered for funding.

    All eligible entities interested in applying to ACEP-ALE in FY 2021 must submit an ‘Entity Application for an ALE Agreement’ on form NRCS-CPA-41 (dated 02/2020 or later), a ‘Parcel Sheet for Entity Application for an ALE Agreement’ on form NRCS-CPA-41A (dated 02/2020 or later), and the FY 2021 ALE Parcel Workbook for each parcel to be considered for funding in FY 2021.  If the eligible entity is only applying to add new Parcel Contracts to an existing ACEP-ALE Program Agreement, an Entity Application (NRCS-CPA-41) is not required, only the NRCS-CPA-41A and associated Parcel Workbook for the parcel must be submitted.  Only properly completed and executed applications submitted on the appropriate forms by the application cutoff dates, accompanied by all required supporting documentation, will be considered for funding in FY 2021.

 

More Information

Landowners interested in wetland reserve easements and partners interested in agricultural easements should visit the NH ACEP website at https://go.usa.gov/xAN4n or contact the state office.

    All required forms and supporting documentation for the ALE program can be found on the NH NRCS website at https://go.usa.gov/xAN4P .


 

Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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