AK Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Alaska


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Jan 5, 2019 5:00pm PST

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Alaska

Location of residency: Alaska

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Overview:

AK Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve working agricultural lands and restore wetlands impacted by agricultural production. Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations protect working important agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.

NRCS Alaska Allocated $975,000 for Fiscal Year 2017 for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program .

The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created by the 2014 Farm Bill to encourage private owners to maintain land for farming and ranching and to protect critical wetland resources for wildlife habitat and water quality. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect these key resources.

Benefits

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, and shrubland. 

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement. Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.
  • Land eligible for Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and limited acreage of nonindustrial private forest land. 
  • To enroll working agricultural lands, NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners.
    • Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.

Preferences:

  • NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.