VA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Agricultural Land Easement (ALE)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Virginia


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Nov 30, 2018

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Virginia

Location of residency: Virginia

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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.

Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Under the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) component, NRCS helps organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land, through their existing easement programs.

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 offers additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including pastureland and shrubland. 

Enrollment through ALE

NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners. Each easement is required to have an ALE plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.

Eligible partners may submit proposals to NRCS to acquire conservation easements on eligible land. Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land. 

Assistance

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. 

Under ALE, 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 are:
    • Indian tribes, 
    • state and local governments, and
    • non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs. 
  • Eligible land for ALE includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest 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.