NRCS announces sign-up for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

Chillicothe News

Agricultural producers and forest landowners can now submit applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the date to accept applications for Fiscal Year 2022 funding consideration until Dec. 10.

ACEP helps restore, protect, and enhance wetlands on eligible land through its Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) component. Through the Agricultural Land Easement component (ALE), it also protects the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses of that land. ALE also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring and conserving eligible land. ACEP is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

ACEP enrollment options include:

  • ACEP-WRE: Wetland reserve easements that are perpetual, 30-years or maximum duration under state law, or 30-year contracts on acreage owned by Indian Tribes. 
  • ACEP-ALE:  Agricultural Land Easements that are perpetual or maximum duration allowed under State law.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. However, to be considered for funding in Fiscal Year 2022, entities and landowners must apply by Dec. 10. Application packets submitted to NRCS Missouri field offices will be forwarded to the NRCS Missouri State Office for review and ranking.

To learn more, please visit your local NRCS Missouri field office, or contact Tracey Wiggins, easement coordinator, at tracey.wiggins@usda.gov or (573) 876-9406.