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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.

Over 25 Years of Wetland Restoration SuccessWe're celebrating over 25 years of wetland restoration success! Check out our Wisconsin NRCS Wetland Easements Working For You booklet.

Easement Programs

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.

The Emergency Watershed Protection Program – Floodplain Easement (EWPP-FPE) is an easement program separate from other Farm Bill programs. The EWPP-FPE program is a voluntary program through which eligible applicants agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the United States through NRCS. The deed restrictions are similar to Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Compensation is based on the value of the easement as determined by an appraisal or market analysis. For 2019 enrollments, Wisconsin will procure individual appraisals on the selected projects.

These easements may occur on public or private agricultural land damaged by flooding. The primary goal in Wisconsin is to give landowners who have been struggling with cropping troublesome, flooded land another option to retire that land. NRCS will work to restore the easement to its natural floodplain condition.

The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) helps landowners restore, enhance and protect forestland resources on private lands through easements and financial assistance. Through HRFP, landowners promote the recovery of endangered or threatened species, improve plant and animal biodiversity and enhance carbon sequestration.

Former Easement Programs

The Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) protected, restored, and enhanced grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other lands.

The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) helped purchase development rights which kept productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses.

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) protected, restored and enhanced wetlands. It had the goal of achieving the greatest wetland functions and optimum wildlife habitat on every acre enrolled in it.