Eligible Partners have until December 30, 2022, to sign up for funding.
Through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program’s Agricultural Land Easement component (ACEP-ALE), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enters into agreements with eligible partners for purchasing easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. This program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture production. It also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland. The program helps protect 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.
Landowners who are interested in ACEP-ALE on their property must work with an eligible partner to participate in this program. Interested landowners can visit the NRCS website to find potential partners, www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs-initiatives/ale-agricultural-land-easements. Eligible partners include American Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland, rangeland, or grassland protection programs. Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.
NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis; however, to be considered for funding during the Fiscal Year 2023 budget cycle, applications from eligible partners must be received by December 30, 2022.