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News Release

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Announces Funding for FY2019 Conservation Easement Program

Contact:
Peter Gibbs
315-477-6543


For Immediate Release

March 18, 2019‚Äč

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Announces Funding for FY2019 Conservation Easement Program

Private landowners, American Indian tribes and eligible entities are encouraged to apply by April 19, 2019 for the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) components of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  

Syracuse,– Blake Glover, New York State Conservationist for the USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the acceptance of applications from interested landowners and entities for the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) and the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) components of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) focuses on restoring and protecting wetlands through WRE as well as conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands through ALE. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land in either of these two easement options.

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Through ACEP -WRE, NRCS helps landowners and tribes restore and protect wetland ecosystems. Wetlands provide many benefits, including critical habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. They also store floodwaters, clean and recharge groundwater, sequester carbon, trap sediment, and filter pollutants for clean water.

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.

The WRE application deadline is April 19, 2019.

ACEP - WRE applications are available at local USDA Service Centers which can be located at the following link https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY

ACEP – ALE Application materials may be found on the NRCS-New York ACEP website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/ny/programs/easements/acep/?cid=nrcseprd1301837

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Through ACEP – ALE, NRCS provides funds to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands. This program helps to keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing development pressure. ALE Easements are permanent. Eligible lands include privately owned cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and forestland.

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, but rather through an eligible partner.

The ALE application deadline is April 19, 2019.

Applications received after the posted deadlines will be batched for funding consideration in FY 2020 which begins October 1. 2019. Both WRE and ALE have continuous sign up.

ACEP – ALE Application materials may be found on the NRCS-New York ACEP website: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/ny/programs/easements/acep/?cid=nrcseprd1301837

You may also Contact: Peter Gibbs at 315-477-6543 for more information regarding ACEP - WRE and ALE in New York.

To learn more about ACEP and other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit the NRCS-New York ACEP webpage https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/ny/programs/easements/acep/