Skip Navigation

Agricultural Land Easement

Vermont Agricultural Land Easement (ALE)

The US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service is pleased to announce their 2019 application period for the Agricultural Land Easement portion of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP-ALE).  Applications for agricultural land conservation easements are due to the NRCS State Office C/O Obediah Racicot no later than April 5, 2019. Vermont has historically had a strong agricultural conservation easement program and to date has conserved 72,000 acres of farmland over more than 390 agricultural conservation easements.

To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit

Entity Eligibility Criteria

Any state or local unit of government, or non-profit organization can apply for ALE funds by demonstrating

  • A commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands
  • A capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements
  • Sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship
  • The availability of funds

Selected and Funded Projects

Eligible entities will sign an agreement with NRCS for a period of three years. Within 30 days of agreement signing, the entity will be required to submit a draft easement deed for NRCS approval.

Parcel Eligibility

Eligible land must:

Be privately owned agricultural land and:

  • Contain at least 50% prime, unique, statewide, or locally important farmland;
  • Contains historical or archeological resources;
  • the enrollment of which would protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring and conserving land; or 
  • the protection of which will further a State or local policy consistent with the purposes of ACEP; and land that is:
    • cropland;
    • rangeland;
    • grassland or land that contains forbs, or shrub land for which grazing his the predominant use;
    • located in an area that has been historically dominated by grass land, forbs, or shrubs and could provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value;
    • pastureland; or
    • nonindustrial private forest land that contributes to the economic viability of an offered parcel or serves as a buffer to protect such land from development

The eligibility of the land and the landowner for each parcel must be established at the time the parcel is submitted for potential funding.

Forest management plans are required on all parcels with forest cover on greater than 20 acres or 20% of the easement area (whichever is greater). If the parcel requires a forest management plan, a certification by the landowner that such a plan will be completed prior to closing is needed.

Easement Management Plan Fact Sheet

2019 Program Application Materials for Entities The following documents require Acrobat Reader

2019 ACEP ALE Ranking Form

2019 RCPP ACEP ALE Ranking Form

2019 County Data Matrix attachment to ranking

CPA-41Application Form


RCPP Soils Waiver

ALE Soils Waiver

ALE Impervious Surface Criteria

ACEP ALE General Information and Eligibility Information

Drainage Identification Process for ACEP ALE Eligibility


Vermont ACEP-ALE Contact

Obediah Racicot
Phone: 802-951-6796 ext. 228

National ACEP-ALE Information