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Easements

Applications for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ALE and WRE are due April 17, 2020, for the next round of funding.

Application materials and instructions on how to apply for ALE are found here: Agricultural Land Easements Program (ALE)

To enroll land through the wetland reserve easement (WRE) component landowners must complete Form NRCS-CPA-1200 and submit by the deadline to their local NRCS office. Application forms and instructions on how to apply for WRE are found here: Wetland Reserve Easement Program (WRE)

Application materials and instructions on how to apply for WREP are found here: Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP)

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands. Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands. The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) provides funding to eligible partners to enroll wetlands in WRE and complete restoration on enrolled easements.

Click here for the national NRCS ACEP webpage.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program, Floodplain Easement Program (EWPP-FPE)

Floodplain easements restore, protect, maintain and enhance the functions of floodplains while conserving their natural values such as serving as fish and wildlife habitat, improving water quality, retaining flood water, and recharging groundwater. Structures, including buildings, within the floodplain easement must be demolished and removed, or relocated outside the affected floodplain area.

NRCS may purchase EWPP-FPE permanent easements in floodplains for the following reasons:

  1. The land has been damaged by flooding at least once during the previous calendar year or subject to flood damage at least twice within the previous 10 years 1.
     
  2. Other lands within the floodplain may be eligible if they contribute to the restoration of floodwater storage and flow, offer a way to control erosion, or improve the practical management of the floodplain easement.
     
  3. Lands that would be inundated or adversely impacted as a result of a dam breach.

If FPE is being offered as recovery for a specific natural disaster, at least one instance of flooding must have occurred because of that natural disaster.

Please contact the New Mexico NRCS staff listed below to apply for a floodplain easement. More information is also available at the national NRCS ACEP webpage.

Healthy Forests Reserve Program

The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) restores or enhances threatened and endangered species habitat on forest properties. HFRP provides landowners with 10-year restoration agreements and 30-year or permanent easements for specific conservation actions. For acreage owned by an Indian tribe, there is an additional enrollment option of a 30-year contract. Some landowners may avoid regulatory restrictions under the Endangered Species Act by restoring or improving habitat on their land for a specified period of time.

HFRP funding is not available in New Mexico.

Former Easement Programs

The Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) protected, restored, and enhanced grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other lands.

The Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) helped purchase development rights which kept productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses.

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) protected, restored and enhanced wetlands. It had the goal of achieving the greatest wetland functions and optimum wildlife habitat on every acre enrolled in it.

The enrollment authority for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Farm and Ranch Protection Program (FRPP) expired on September 30, 2013. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is not authorized to take applications or enter into any new contracts, agreements, or enrollments for these programs. The Agency will continue to manage easements enrolled in these programs under the original terms of the easement deeds.

Contacts

Kenneth Branch
Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
(505) 761-4454
E-mail:kenneth.branch@usda.gov

Athena Cholas
Resource Conservationist
(505) 761-4419
E-mail:athena.cholas@usda.gov