NRCS Begins Signup for Ag Land, Wetland Conservation Easements

May 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: Land

“This is an exciting new opportunity for even more people to get involved in conserving natural resources,” said Lisa Coverdale, Connecticut State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Coverdale is referring to the agency’s announcement today that it is accepting applications for its new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). The program makes $2 million available, initially, to Connecticut for the purchase of conservation easements on eligible agricultural lands and wetlands.

“I encourage Indian tribes, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and private landowners to contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply,” Coverdale said.

Approved agricultural easements prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production. Cropland, grassland, pastureland, and non-industrial private forestland are eligible.

Wetland reserve easements restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.

ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, is a combination of the agency’s former Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

Applications are currently being accepted. To obtain an application, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted

Please submit applications by June 6, 2014, to:

Joyce Purcell, Assistant State Conservationist-Programs
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
344 Merrow Road, Suite A
Tolland, CT 06084-3917
joyce.purcell@ct.usda.gov

Evaluations will begin later in the month.

For more information about ACEP and NRCS’s other programs, contact your local service center: Danielson (860-779-0557), Hamden (203-287-8038), Norwich (860-887-3604), Torrington (860-626-8258); Windsor (860-688-7725) or visit www.ct.nrcs.usda.gov/programs

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