The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for Agricultural Land Easements through the new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program.
The ACEP, created through the 2014 federal Farm Bill, provides funding for conservation easements on agricultural land, including grasslands considered to be of special environmental significance. ALE funds are provided to eligible entities to purchase conservation easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of privately owned land. Crop land, range land, grasslands, pasture land and nonindustrial private forest land are all eligible.
“We encourage land trusts, private conservation organizations, and state and local governments that protect agricultural land to contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply,” said California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez.
While NRCS will accept ALE applications throughout the year, NRCS plans to make 2014 funding decisions from the pool of applications received by June 6.
To get more information on the program and applying, see www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.