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.
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.
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 Easements (EWP-FPE) provides an alternative for farmers with frequently flooded and damaged farmlands. The program's primary emphasis is to retire frequently-flooding bottomland from agricultural uses, allowing the unimpeded reach and flows of floodwaters and improving wildlife habitat. It also eliminates the need for future disaster payments on frequently flooded cropland.
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.