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Press Release

USDA announces second signup for Rhode Island Agricultural Land Easements

Apply by March 24, 2023, to be considered for this year's funding.
Publish Date
Farmland with the Newport Bridge in the distance.

NRCS announces a second fiscal year 2023 signup opportunity for farmers and private forest landowners for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program's (ACEP) Agricultural Land Easements (ALE). 

ACEP Agricultural Land Easements help private and tribal landowners, land trusts, and other entities like state and local governments to protect croplands and grasslands on working farms and ranches by limiting non-agricultural uses of the land through conservation easements.

ACEP-ALE protects the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space. Agricultural Land Easements leverage local partnerships to match NRCS funding and local partners are responsible for the long-term stewardship of the easement.

Applicants (eligible entities) must be a federally recognized Tribe, state or local unit of government, or a non-governmental organization. Applicants must have an established farmland protection program that purchases agricultural conservation easements for the purpose of protecting agricultural use and related conservation values by limiting conversion to nonagricultural uses of the land.

To be eligible to receive ACEP-ALE funding, eligible entity applicants must demonstrate a commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands; a capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements; adequate staff capacity for monitoring and easement stewardship; and the availability of funds. All landowners of record and the land being offered for enrollment must also meet specific eligibility criteria as outlined in the application materials posted on the Rhode Island ACEP-ALE webpage.

While NRCS accepts applications for ACEP-ALE year-round, applications made by March 24, 2023, will be considered for this year’s funding.

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with conservation districts and the people of Rhode Island to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources.

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