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

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Montana

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Apr 19, 2020

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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Agricultural Land Easements

NRCS provides financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements 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 of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), 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.

Grasslands of Special Significance

Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0 provides a four-year roadmap for investing approximately $211 million in sage grouse conservation efforts. Conservation easements can support the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) by keeping working lands working as intact range. If you have property that lies within one of the Sage Grouse core areas it may, as a grassland of special environmental significance, qualify for the higher NRCS contribution of up to 75 percent. 

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


  • What are landowner eligibility requirements?
    • All landowners of record on the property deed must be compliant with Adjusted Gross Income and Highly Erodible Land requirements. 
  • What land is eligible for an ALE?
    • Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. 
  • Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.