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News Release

2018 ACEP - New Deadline April 27, 2018

NRCS Contact:
Alicia Rodriguez (505) 761-4421

February 27, 2018

New Mexico USDA Announces New Application Deadline
for Conservation Easement Funding to Protect Privately-Owned
Wetlands, Agricultural Lands and Grasslands

Albuquerque, N.M. – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts applications year round for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to protect wetlands, agricultural lands and grasslands.

The deadline to be considered for fiscal year 2018 funding is April 27, 2018. The application forms and information on how to apply can be found at the NRCS New Mexico ACEP website

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Wetland conservation easements are either permanent or for 30 years. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored, croplands or grasslands subject to flooding, and riparian areas that link protected wetland areas. As part of the easement, NRCS and the landowner work together to develop a plan for the restoration and maintenance of the wetland.

Eligible landowners can apply by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200). Producers who have established a Client Gateway account may submit their application online.  Landowners will need to meet adjusted gross income (AGI) limitations and file AGI certification with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Through ACEP agricultural land easements, 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 cooperating entity applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner, permanently protecting its agricultural use and conservation values. Landowners do not apply directly to NRCS for funding under this program. Landowners interested in working lands easements (ACEP-ALE) will need to receive an offer from an eligible entity and the entity submits an application package to NRCS.

ALE Easements are permanent. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and forestlands.



Grasslands protected from conversion to non-grasslands uses provide habitat for many wildlife species.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: