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Agricultural Conservation Easement Deadline Set

Published Wednesday Mar 27, 2019

Agricultural Conservation Easement Deadline Set

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for New Hampshire has established the 2019 Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) application cutoff date of April 19, 2019. 

ACEP provides private landowners the opportunity to permanently protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands and wildlife habitat under Wetland Reserve Easements and the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program, and to conserve productive agricultural lands under the Agricultural Land Easements and Regional Conservation Partnership Program.  Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land into the easement program.  “Protecting these lands preserves New Hampshire’s heritage, natural resources and open space,” says Rick Ellsmore, NRCS NH State Conservationist. “Easements are also important tools for people who are trying to improve the management of their land.”

Applications for ACEP are accepted on a continuous basis, however, periodic application cutoff dates are established for ranking and funding consideration.  All eligible applications received by the cutoff date will be ranked and prioritized for funding.  To be eligible for ranking, a WRE and WREP application must have Adjusted Gross Income status as determined by IRS and Highly Erodible Land Wetland Compliance status as determined by the Farm Service Agency verified as compliant.

Wetland reserve easements help landowners and tribes restore and protect, manage, maintain, and enhance the functional values of wetlands and other lands, and in the conservation of natural values including fish and wildlife and their habitat, water quality improvement, flood water retention, groundwater recharge, open space, aesthetic values, and environmental education. 

Agricultural land easements provide funds to conservation partners to purchase conservation easements on private working lands. This program helps keep working lands working, especially in areas experiencing development pressure. 

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