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Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

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Over the past 25 years, NRCS has worked with landowners to protect more than 4.4 million acres of wetlands and agricultural lands, a value of over a billion dollars in a diversified real estate portfolio that has resulted in improved soil health, water and air quality and wildlife habitat.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) is NRCS’s overarching easement program and provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. ACEP helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements.

  • Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps American Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Agricultural Land Easements protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space.
  • Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands. Wetland Reserve Easements 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 and American Indian tribes.
  • The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) continues to be a voluntary program under the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) component through which NRCS signs agreements with eligible partners to leverage resources to carry out high priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement and to improve wildlife habitat.

More Information

Application Submission Dates

ACEP-ALE: January 14, 2022
ACEP-WRE: August 5, 2022
ACEP-WREP: Contact Idaho NRCS Easement Coordinator

Idaho Easement Coordinators

Tracie O'Neill Chris Chapa
Phone: (208) 715-3115 Phone: (208) 267-2707, ext. 111
Email: Email: