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News Release

NRCS now accepting applications for Conservation Easements

Rebecca Haddix

News Release # 18-021                                                                                                                          

NRCS now accepting applications for Conservation Easements

Farm Bill conservation program sign-up deadline September 27, 2018

MORGANTOWN, W.Va., July 27, 2018 –USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) applications. Application packets for current funding consideration must be submitted to the NRCS WV State Office by November 2, 2018.

Through ACEP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands, wetlands and their related benefits. Under ACEP, there are two directions for conservation easements; Agriculture Land Easements (ALE) or Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). 

The ALE program protects the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. NRCS provides financial support to local eligible entities who help landowners place perpetual easements on their farms in order to protect the soil and related conservation values for future agricultural use. Applications for the ALE program can be submitted to your local entity, such as a farmland protection board.  For more information on county farmland protection boards or the WV Agricultural Land Protection Authority, please go to All application items and instructions for submission of parcels in the ALE program are located on the NRCS WV website:

The WRE program is designed to help provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and 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. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners to restore, protect and enhance wetlands through the purchase of these easements.  Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement.

Landowners interested in the ACEP-WRE program may contact their local USDA Service Center.  Application material and more information about the program can be found on the NRCS WV website: in the “Complete Application Packet” zip file:

To learn more about ACEP and other Farm Bill programs, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit


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