New York State Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) - Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Natural Resources Conservation Service - New York

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Feb 9, 2019

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: New York

Location of residency: New York

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Overview:

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) consolidates three former programs: Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program. The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.

Wetland Reserve Easements

NRCS also provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of an ACEP - WRE. For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of a 30-year contract.

Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands. To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan. This plan restores, protects, and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

Through the ACEP – WRE enrollment options, NRCS may enroll eligible land through:

  • Permanent Easements: Permanent easements are conservation easements in perpetuity. NRCS pays 100 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement.
    • Additionally, NRCS pays between 75 to 100 percent of the restoration costs.
  • 30-year Easements: 30-year easements expire after 30 years. Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement.
    • Additionally, NRCS pays between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
  • Term Easements: Term easements are easements that are for the maximum duration allowed under applicable State laws. NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the term easement.
    • Additionally, NRCS pays between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.
  • 30-year Contracts: 30-year contracts are only available to enroll acreage owned by Indian tribes, and program payment rates are commensurate with 30-year easements.

For wetland reserve easements, NRCS pays all costs associated with recording the easement in the local land records office, including recording fees, charges for abstracts, survey and appraisal fees, and title insurance.

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

Eligibility:

  • Applicants of ACEP-WRE must establish Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) eligibility through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Conservation Compliance through NRCS.
  • Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes:
    • farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.
  • See the ACEP manual for complete guidelines

Preferences:

  • NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.