NRCS Will Hold 2 Rounds of Applications
Cut-Off Dates and Funding DUE DATES VARY
Clint Evans, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Colorado recently announced the 2019 application cut-off dates for landowners and eligible entities to participate in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE) in Colorado. NRCS will hold two rounds of funding to help prioritize allocations. Round 1 application packages are due on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 and round 2 applications are due on Friday, May 31st, 2019 by 4:00 p.m. on each day.
The purpose of the ACEP-ALE program is to protect the agricultural viability, grazing uses and related conservation values by limiting nonagricultural uses of the land.
Applicants (eligible entities) must be a federally recognized Indian Tribe, state or local units of government, or a non-governmental organization. Applicants must have an established farmland protection program, which purchases agricultural conservation easements. The easements must have protected agriculture use and related conservation values by limiting conversion to nonagricultural uses of the land.
USDA provides up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement in this voluntary program and 75 percent for qualifying projects of special significance. The landowner retains ownership and continues to use the land for agricultural purposes.
To be eligible to receive ALE funding, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands; a capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements; adequate staff numbers dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship; and the availability of funds.
Completed application packets for Round 1 funding consideration must be submitted by 4:00 p.m., on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 and for consideration in Round 2, applications are due Friday, May 31st, 2019 by 4:00 p.m. Applications for both rounds should be emailed to Heather Foley at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the following address: USDA-NRCS, Denver Federal Center, Building 56, Room 2604, Denver, CO 80225 Attn: Heather Foley, Easements Coordinator. Applications postmarked or timestamped after these deadlines WILL NOT be accepted.
For more information about ACEP-ALE, please contact Heather Foley at 720-544-2805. You can also visit your local NRCS Service Center or visit the Colorado NRCS website at https://www.co.nrcs.usda.gov.