August 20, 2019

NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

• ACEP provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits
• NRCS helps landowners protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land and for working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture;
• NRCS accepts ACEP applications on a continuous basis, but funding selections are typically made once a year.

For general questions on NRCS conservation easements please contact:
Roney Gutierrez Roney.Gutierrez@fl.usda.gov – 352-338-9502

Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (WRE)
The WRE Program helps PREVENT further decreases in water quality through land protection and help FIX water quality issues by restoring wetlands so they can hold and clean water before it reaches our coastal estuaries

• WRE purchases conservation easements on degraded or former wetlands in need of restoration and wetlands that have been converted into other agricultural uses are prioritized;
• NRCS will prioritize applications based on the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
• WRE’s can be more restrictive than other easements; NRCS has the right to restrict grazing rights for restoration purposes. NRCS has not restricted grazing rights in Florida as part of the WRE program, as cattle can be a management tool in Florida.
• Landowners also have the option to secure grazing rights on a WRE in perpetuity for a reduced rate.
• WRE prices are set by the Geographic Area Cap Rate (GARC); they are not subject to appraisal.

For more information or if you are interested in pursuing a Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) please contact: Crenel Francis Crenel.francis@fl.usda.gov – (352) 338-9508

Agricultural Lands Easements (ALE) to rural and disadvantage landowners
Partnership program geared to protect working landscapes
• Financial assistance provided to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land;
• Up to 50% match available for working agricultural lands and 75% where there are grasslands of special significance;
• Eligible partners include the state, water management districts, county governments, land trusts, and American Indian Tribes.

If you are interested in the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE), or if you are a funding partner interesting in securing matching funding, please contact: Roney.Gutierrez@fl.usda.gov – 352-338-9502

Go to www.nrcs.usda.gov for information and application materials.

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under grant number 2004.17.058692 through the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” Any publication prepared with funding from this agreement must include acknowledgement to USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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