Farmers and ranchers have until Jan. 15 to apply to take part in the Agricultural Land Easement program.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) was created by the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming and ranching. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect these key resources.
In FY 2014 and FY 2015, the Idaho office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS-Idaho) invested more than $600 thousand dollars in ACEP funding to help landowners engage in voluntary conservation to provide long-term protection of Idaho farmland and grassland through five new easements.
What sets the ACEP apart from previous easement programs is interested landowners work in concert with, and through, an eligible entity with the authority to hold management easements to ensure the best possible outcome for the lands.
In fiscal year 2016, NRCS-Idaho has nearly $1.21 million to assist farmers and ranchers who would like to take part in the ACEP.
For information, contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Grangeville, 983-1050, or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted .