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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Overview:

Agricultural Land Easements

Through the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program's Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE) component, 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. Eligible partners include American Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland, rangeland or grassland protection programs.

Under the Agricultural Land Easement 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.

Benefits

Agricultural Land Easements 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.

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

Eligibility:

  • 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.

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.