Thursday, December 03, 2015

2016 Conservation Easement Applications due January 15

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting applications for both Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) and Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Created in the 2014 Farm Bill, the program encompasses protection of farms and ranches through ALE and protection and restoration of wetlands through WRE. Applications for available funding are due no later than January 15, 2016. ALE funds are available to land trusts, non-governmental organizations, local and state governments, and tribes that have existing programs to purchase conservation easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of privately owned land. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are all eligible land uses. Approved agricultural easements would prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production...more

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