Tennessee NRCS Announces FY 2020 Application Deadline for Eligible Agricultural Entities and Individual Landowners to Apply for ACEP Deadline to apply is March 25, 2020
NASHVILLE, February 25, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced an application deadline for Tennessee eligible entities to apply for fiscal year 2020 funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Tennessee will accept applications for ACEP on a continuous basis, but deadlines must be set to evaluate the applications. “NRCS may establish additional application cutoff dates based on funding and interest in the ACEP program and, if an additional funding period is approved, a 30-day-minimum application period will be announced,” said Sheldon Hightower, State Conservationist, Tennessee NRCS. Applications for the ACEP-Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) will only be accepted from eligible entities, not individual landowners. Eligible entities include State or local units of government, Indian Tribes or nongovernmental organizations, such as a conservancy or a land trust. ALE is only available as a perpetual easement. ACEP's agricultural land easements not only protect the long-term viability of the nation's food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses, they also 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. “Tennessee is committed to preserving working agricultural lands to help protect the long-term viability of farming across the landscape as well as to restoring and protecting vital sensitive wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat and improve water quality,” said Hightower. Qualified individual landowners may also apply for the ACEP – Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Program. Only qualified landowners with a complete application package will be considered for land eligibility determination.
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