Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Jason Weller today announced the availability of $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
“Conservation easements are an important tool to help these landowners and partners voluntarily provide long-term protection of our nation’s farmland, ranchland, wetlands and grasslands for future generations,” said Vilsack.
“What’s great about these easements is that you can also have permanent protection of vulnerable habitat…but these are also working land conservation easements,” Weller added. “The easements are a critical tool for us.”
The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs into ACEP to make it easier for diverse agricultural landowners to fully benefit from conservation initiatives. ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS; however, applications for the current funding round must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.USDA NRCS easement program funding announcement