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News Release

NRCS Announces Second Round of Funding for ACEP - ALE

SOMERSET, N.J., April 14, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Jersey is accepting applications for a second round of funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Agricultural Land Easements. Applications that meet eligibility and ranking criteria for ACEP-ALE received by May 20, 2021 will be considered for the 2021 program.

Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses to protect the long-term viability of the nation's food while supporting environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat, and protection of open space. This component is also available for grasslands of special environmental significance, or high-quality grasslands under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development, and other non-grazing uses.

Landowners interested in ACEP- ALE must work with a cooperating entity and do not submit applications for ACEP-ALE directly to NRCS. State and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs are eligible to partner with NRCS to purchase conservation easements. Several New Jersey land trust and governmental organizations are also available to help interested landowners apply for a conservation easement through the NRCS program.

Some of the entities NRCS – NJ has partnered with in the past, include:

  • The State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC)    
  • The New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF)  
  • Hunterdon Land Trust (HLT)   
  • D & R Greenway Land Trust    

To apply for ACEP-ALE, or for more information, please contact Gail Bartok, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, at 732-537-6042 or Lauren Lapczynski, Easement Specialist, at 732-537-6046.

Information on these and other NRCS programs can be found on the NRCS NJ website.