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News Release

Second Application Period for Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs

Peter Gibbs

Blake Glover, New York State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the second application submittal period, from interested entities, for the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The application deadline is February 9, 2022

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program - ALE (ACEP) focuses conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land in either of these two easement options.

“Conservation easements are an important tool in conservation for the state of the New York. Easements help eligible landowners and partners voluntarily provide long-term protection of our nation’s farmland, ranch land, wetlands and grasslands for future generations,” Blake Glover, State Conservationist for New York, said. “New York NRCS has been at the forefront of Conservation Easements in the state and across the nation. One of our top priorities is to help farmers, ranchers, private forest landowners and partners achieve their conservation goals using our technical expertise, sound conservation planning, and Farm Bill funding.”

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Through ACEP – ALE, NRCS provides funds to eligible conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands. This program helps 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 Tribal Nations. 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 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 February 9, 2022.

ACEP – ALE Application materials may be found here:     

To find your local service center go here:     

Applicants may apply at any time, however applications received after the posted deadlines will be considered for funding during future application periods.