Bozeman, Mont., Nov. 24, 2015—The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana will accept applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) until Jan. 15, 2016.
“Easements are sometimes a perfect fit for a landowner who is looking to protect his or her land from future development or to protect and improve wetlands or provide critical habitat for wildlife,” said Erik Suffridge, NRCS assistant state conservationist for programs in Montana.
In Montana, $7.5 million will be available to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect key resources or protect and enhance wetland acres.
Wetland 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. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.
American Indian tribes, state and local governments and nongovernmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs are eligible to partner with NRCS to purchase conservation easements.
Source: USDA NRCS Montana