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A banner advertising the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. A farm sits upon a grassy hill, a logo is superimpose the the letters A.C. E. P. overlaid. A blue bar across the bottom has text that reads: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, ACEP.


The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.

Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Sub programs:

There are two sub programs under ACEP, one focused on conservation easements on agricultural land (ALE) and one focused on conservation easments on wetlands (WRE).

Below you can find out more about each of these sub-programs.

6 Steps to Conservation Easements

Click to download the publicaiton.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) 

ALE protects 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.

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

WRE provides 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.

Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP)

WREP works through partnership agreements to leverage resources to carry out high-priority wetland protection and improve wildlife habitat.

2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill was enacted on December 20, 2018. The Farm Bill continues its strong support for conservation efforts of America’s farmers and ranchers through reauthorization and expanded flexibility of NRCS conservation programs. 

NRCS offers financial and technical assistance through conservation practices, activities and enhancements to help agricultural producers make and maintain improvements on their land. Producers with active contracts under the 2014 Farm Bill may continue completing practices as scheduled; sign-up information for the 2018 Farm Bill will be announced as it becomes available.