CASPER – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) and the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) under the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP) Applications submitted by January 27, 2017 will be considered for funding in FY2017.
The ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, funds easements for agricultural lands and wetland reserves. ACEP has two components, one for Agricultural Land Easements and one for Wetland Reserve Easements.
Under the agricultural land component, funds are provided to eligible entities that can use ACEP funding to purchase agricultural land easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. Approved agricultural easements would prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food and fiber production. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible.
Under the wetland reserve component, funding is provided directly to landowners for the purchase of an easement and for restoration. Wetland reserve easements would restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Restoration funds are used to restore and enhance wetlands, to improve habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, improve water quality, reduce flood damage, and encourage outdoor education and recreation. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.
ALE application packages are to be submitted to the Wyoming NRCS State Office attention Mary Schrader. WRE application and program information is available from your local NRCS field Office.
Please contact your local NRCS field office or Mary Schrader at (307) 233-6757 for additional information.
Source: Wyoming NRCS