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News Release

Oklahoma NRCS Announced January 7, 2022 deadline for ACEP-WRE

Oklahoma’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist, Gary O’Neill, has announced the agency is accepting applications for its ACEP-WRE Program, and those submitted by January 7, 2022, will be considered for FY2022 funding. The NRCS will prioritize applications that protect, restore and enhance habitat for wildlife on their lands and reduce damage from flooding and recharge groundwater.

“USDA is committed to restoring and protecting vital sensitive wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat and improve water quality,” said O’Neill.

Land eligible for easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland and pastureland land owned by private individuals or Native American Tribes. Wetlands Reserve Easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) has two components, one for Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE).  Applications for both ALE and WRE are accepted on a continuous basis.

  • Under the ALE component, funds are provided to eligible entities that use ACEP funding to purchase permanent agricultural land easements that not only protect the future of the nation's food supply, they also support environmental quality, wildlife habitat, and historic preservation and protection of open spaces.
  • Under the WRE component, funding is provided directly to landowners for the purchase of an easement and for restoration. Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance, and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands.  Eligible landowners may choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.

To apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement, landowners should contact their local NRCS field office, to be considered in the current batching period ending January 7, 2022.

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone, and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

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