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Eligibility and Applying for ACEP


ACEP Easements

Please note: Applicants of both ACEP-ALE and ACEP-WRE must establish Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) eligibility through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Conservation Compliance through NRCS.

The FSA and NRCS offices can be located by visiting the USDA Service Center Locator.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Land eligible for agricultural land easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.

To enroll land through agricultural land easements, NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners. Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.

For additional information on landowner eligibility refer to the associated documents at the bottom of this page.

Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE)Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

How to Apply

With current restrictions due to COVID-19 there are some additional forms needed for application that you would normally get from your local service center.  Those forms are available below along with the other documents required for application.  For help with the process contact your local service center or you may e-mail Peter Gibbs, Easements Programs Manager, or call 315-477-6543 for more information regarding ACEP - WRE and ALE in New York.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

To enroll land through ACEP – ALE, a landowner must identify and work with an eligible partner/sponsor, such as a land trust or local government, who will submit required application materials to the NRCS New York State Office at the address below.

Person filling out an applicationUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
441 South Salina Street, Suite 354
Syracuse, New York 13202

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

To enroll land through ACEP–WRE a landowner should contact their local NRCS office. Office personnel can help determine if your land is eligible and provide you with application materials. NRCS offices can be located by visiting the USDA Service Center Locator.

All PDF documents below are less than 650 KB in size unless noted otherwise.

General ACEP Information

CCC-902-I Farm Operating Plan for an Individual

CCC-902-E Farm Operating Plan for an Entity

CCC-902-E Farm Operating Plan for an Entity Continuation Sheet

Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) CCC-941

Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Certification (HEL-WC) AD-1026

ACEP Program Manual  (web link)  Download the manual (PDF; 3.8 MB)

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Eligibility (FSA), and Conservation Compliance (NRCS)

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

ACEP-ALE General Informat

Minimum Deed Terms

ACEP Agricultural Land Easements Ranking Tool

ACEP ALE Deed Review Checklist

NRCS Appraisal Specifications

Land Eligibility

NRCS-CPA-41 - Entity Application for an ALE Agreement (1.4 MB)

NRCS-CPA-41A - Parcel Sheet for Entity Application for an ALE Agreement (2.0 MB)

NRCS-CPA-230E Statement to Confirm Matching Funds for General ACEP-ALE

NRCS-CPA-230F Statement to Confirm Matching Funds for Grassland of Special Significance (GSS) ACEP-ALE

ACEP-ALE Program Agreement Option

NRCS-CPA-1265 ACEP ALE Parcel Cost-Share Contract-Sample

NRCS-CPA-1265 Appendix ACEP ALE Parcel Cost-Share Contract Appendix-Sample

NRCS-CPA-1266 ACEP ALE Parcel Schedule of Acqistion of Easements-Sample

NRCS-CPA-1267 ACEP ALE Parcel Modification of the Schedule of Acquisition for Easements

NRCS-CPA-1268 ACEP ALE Parcel Conservation Activiity Approval and Payment Application for Acquisition of Easements


ACEP-ALE Coopertive Agreement Option

ACEP ALE Agreement, Statement of Work

ACEP ALE Agreement, Statement of Work Attachment A

ACEP ALE on Grasslands of Special Environmental Significance Agreement, Statement of Work

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

SF-424A - Budget Information, Non-Construction Programs

SF-424B - Assurances - Non-construction Programs

AD-3030 Representation Regarding Felony Convictino and Tax Delinquent

SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities


Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Wetland Reserve Easements Ranking Guide 

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Geogaphic Area Rate Caps (GARC)

WRE Application NRCS-CPA-1200

Direct Deposit Form SF-1199A

Copy of the Property Deed

Parcel Map of the Property

Additional information will be required for a complete ACEP-WRE application. Please work in consultation with your local field office.

How to Get AssistanceLearn how to get started with NRCS

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Find your local USDA Service Center

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