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Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easements

Agriculture, Wetlands

Are you an agricultural landowner or eligible entity interested in protecting the integrity of your property and the wildlife that lives on it? Maybe you’re a farmer with a deep connection to your land or interest in protecting the future of the nation’s food supply? Why not consider safeguarding your land with a conservation easement through the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS accepts applications year round; however, applications for FY2023 funding are being accepted from now until November 30, 2022.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) protects the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses which negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values, protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible grazing land, and protecting and restoring and enhancing wetlands on eligible land. Under the WRE component, funding is provided directly to landowners for the purchase of an easement and for restoration. Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance, and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater, and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Eligible landowners may choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement; tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.