CASPER – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) and the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) under the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). Applications for ALE and WRE are accepted on a continuous basis with announced cutoff dates for funding consideration. Applications submitted by April 19, 2019 will be considered for funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
The ACEP was reauthorized through the 2018 Farm Bill to fund 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 conservation of land devoted to food and fiber production. Cropland, grassland, pastureland, rangeland, and non-industrial 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 wildlife habitat. Restoration funds are used to restore and enhance wetlands, 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.
ACEP applications are to be submitted to the Wyoming NRCS State Office, attention Kresta Faaborg. ACEP-ALE and ACEP-WRE application and program information is available from your local NRCS field office.
Please contact your local NRCS field office, or Kresta Faaborg at (307) 233-6757 for more information.
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