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Easements

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Easement Program Funding Expiration - Update

The Agricultural Act of 2014 establishes the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

It repeals FRPP, GRP, and WRP but does not affect the validity or terms of any FRPP, GRP, or WRP contract, agreement or easement entered into prior to the date of enactment on February 7, 2014 or any associated payments required to be made in connection with an existing FRPP, GRP, or WRP contract, agreement or easement.  

For more information on ACEP, please visit the ACEP web page.

Protecting and Enhancing our Natural Resources

NRCS offers easement programs to landowners who want to maintain or enhance their land in a way beneficial to agriculture and/or the environment. All NRCS easement programs are voluntary. We provide technical help and financial assistance, but local landowners and organizations are needed to make NRCS easement programs successful.

Easement Programs

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

Grassland protected with the help of GRP.

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 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.

 

ACEP-ALE Resources Now Available

NRCS worked in partnership with American Farmland Trust’s Farmland Information Center to develop a collection of resources and tools to help landowners and entities participate in ACEP-ALE.  American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.

The collection is featured on the home page of FIC website (www.farmlandinfo.org). It includes webpages for landowners that explain how to find a farmland protection partner and how to determine land and landowner eligibility. Pages for entities describe eligibility criteria for entities, landowners and land, and provide information about ranking criteria, minimum deed terms, and how to submit an application. For more details, see the list below.

The collection connects landowners and entities with:  

·       Fact sheets providing an overview of ACEP-ALE for landowners and entities that introduce the eligibility criteria through a series of questions to help potential participants decide if the program is a good fit for them.   

·       Annotated checklists detailing eligibility criteria for land, landowners, and entities. Each describes the criteria, suggests appropriate documentation, and provides relevant examples to prepare landowners and entities to apply.  

·       Step by step guides to completing an entity application (NRCS-CPA-41) and a parcel application (NRCS-CPA-41A) offering additional suggestions on providing appropriate supporting documentation to support the applications. 

·       Instructional videos including How to Use the Farmland Protection Directory which helps landowners find a partner entity, and How to Use the Web Soil Survey, which helps entities assess the soils and land uses on a specific parcel.  

·       Enhanced features in the Farmland Protection Directory to help agricultural landowners identify a farmland protection partner.  

·       A contact list for NRCS state ACEP-ALE program contacts.

Program Contacts:

Susan Marquart
Assistant State Conservationist for Operations
717-237-2237

Hathaway Jones
Management Analyst
(717) 237-2210     

Last Updated:  May 9, 2022