VA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP): Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE)

USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service of Virginia


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Nov 30, 2018

Applicant type: Nonprofit Indigenous Group

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.

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)

Under the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) component, NRCS helps landowners to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Benefits

Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) furnish habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species; improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals; reduce flooding; recharge groundwater; protect biological diversity; and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

Under the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) component, NRCS helps landowners to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Enrollment through WRE

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.

Assistance

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

For WRE, 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. 

Types of Enrollment

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 

Under 30-year easements, NRCS pays 50 to 75 percent of the easement value for the purchase of the easement for 30 years. Additionally, NRCS pays between 50 to 75 percent of the restoration costs.

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

Eligibility:

  • Eligible land for WRE includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.
  • ACEP is open to all eligible individuals or organizations, and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities.

Preferences:

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