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News Release

Tennessee NRCS Announces a November 6, 2017 Application Deadline for Eligible Agricultural Entities and Individual Landowners

ACEP Signup

For more information contact:
Katherine K. Burse, State Public Affairs Officer
PH: 615-277-2533

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NASHVILLE – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced an application deadline for Tennessee eligible entities to apply for fiscal year 2018 funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program  (ACEP). The deadline to apply is Monday, November 6, 2017. Tennessee will accept applications for ACEP on a continuous basis, but deadlines must be set to evaluate the applications.

“Tennessee may establish additional application cutoff dates based on funding and interest in the ACEP program,” said Allen Persinger, Easement Programs Manager.  “If an additional funding period is approved, a 30-day minimum application period will be announced.”

Applications for the ACEP - Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) will only be accepted from eligible entities, not individual landowners. Eligible entities include State or local units of government, Indian Tribes or nongovernmental organizations, such as a conservancy or a land trust.  ALE is only available as a perpetual easement.

Qualified individual landowners may apply for the ACEP – Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Program. Only qualified landowners with a complete application package will be considered for land eligibility determination.  WRE can be enrolled as either a 30-year or Perpetual easement based on the landowner(s) desired management of the offered property.  30-year easements are valued at 25 percent less than Perpetual easements and landowners are responsible for 25 percent of restoration costs, whereas Perpetual easements are eligible for 100 percent restoration cost-share.  Alternatively, landowners have the option to offer their property at a reduced purchase and/or restoration cost in order to improve application ranking.

Applications received after the designated cutoff date of Monday, November 6, 2017, will be considered in the next program year or subsequent application periods if announced. If a landowner is applying for ACEP-WRE on multiple parcels of land, any non-contiguous parcels must be submitted as separate applications. Multiple parcels that are contiguous may be submitted as one application, provided the ownership is identical for each parcel.

Through ACEP-ALE NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural and Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture.

ACEP-WRE allows landowners to successfully restore, enhance, and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.

Entities and landowners should visit with their local NRCS Service Center, if they are interested in applying for ACEP-WRE funding.

For general information about the ACEP ALE program, contact Allen Persinger, allen.persinger@tn.usda.gov or 615-277-2593, or visit the Tennessee NRCS website.


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