TEMPLE, November 6, 2023 — While the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts easement applications on a continuous basis, applications for the 2024 fiscal year Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) funding consideration must be submitted to NRCS by December 8, 2023. Any applications that are received after December 8, 2023, will be considered in future funding opportunities. Application package information may be found on the Texas NRCS Easement Program webpage.
“NRCS has worked with landowners in Texas for many years to protect their agricultural lands and wetlands,” said NRCS Texas State Conservationist Kristy Oates. “Easements are sometimes a perfect fit for a landowner who is looking to protect land from future development or to protect and improve wetlands or provide critical habitat for wildlife.”
ACEP Agricultural Land Easements provide financial assistance to eligible partners for purchasing easements that protect the agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving valuable grasslands in Texas.
Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.
ACEP Wetlands Reserve Easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling land in 30-year contracts.