NM Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of New Mexico


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Jan 19, 2019

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: New Mexico

Location of residency: New Mexico

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Overview:

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the 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, rangeland and pastureland.

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.

To enroll land through Agricultural Land Easements, NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners: tribes, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations that have farm or grassland protection programs. 

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

Eligibility:

  •  Land eligible for agricultural easements includes:
    • cropland, 
    • rangeland, 
    • grassland, 
    • pastureland, and  
    • nonindustrial private forest land. 
  • Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.
  • Landowner Eligibility:
    • All landowners of land being offered for ALE must meeting the Adjusted Gross Income, Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Compliance requirements and file the following forms with the Farm Services Agency by the application deadline.
    • Refer to the Landowner Eligibility Matrix for specific requirements.
  • 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. 

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.