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News Release

NRCS Announces Funding for Ag Land Protection

Hathaway Jones

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pennsylvania now has $1.5 million in funding available through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) to help state and local agencies and land trusts protect agricultural lands within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“For over 25 years, NRCS has worked with landowners to protect Pennsylvania’s prime farmlands,” said State Conservationist Denise Coleman. “Conservation easements are important tools for people who are trying to maintain agricultural viability, improve soil health, water and air quality, and wildlife habitat on their land.”

Funding is available for the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) program. Through ACEP ALE, NRCS provides funds to eligible entities to purchase permanent easements on private agricultural lands. This program helps keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing urban and suburban development pressure. For ALE, $1,315,900.00 in funding is available for cooperating/partner entities to acquire conservation easements.

Applications for ACEP ALE are due no later than August 16, 2022 to be considered for funding this fiscal year.

Partners interested in agricultural land easements should contact Hathaway Jones, Easement Coordinator at: 717-237-2100.