May 6, 2014 5:45 PM by PRESS RELEASE
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for it's new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). In order to be considered for this fiscal year's funding, applications must be received by the local NRCS office by May 15, 2014.
"This is an exciting new opportunity for even more people to get involved in conserving natural resources," said Louisiana state conservationist Kevin Norton. "We 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."
ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, funds easements for agricultural lands and wetland reserves. Approved agricultural easements would prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible. Wetland reserve easements would restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectivley restored.
Applications are currently being accepted for wetlands reserve easements and will be rated according to the easement's potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife.
Applications must be submitted to the local NRCS office by May 15, 2014. Applications are available at your local NRCS office or at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.