Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

Rangeland Programs | Soil Programs | Water Programs

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.  Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps American Indian tribes, state and local governemtns and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

Eligibility: Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land.  NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.

To enroll land through agricultural land easements, NRCS enters into cooperative agreements with eligible partners.  Each easement is required to have an agricultural land easement plan that promotes the long-term viability of the land.

Additional Info

Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.  NRCS will prioritize applications based on the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.  To enroll land through wetland reserve easements, NRCS enters into purchase agreements with eligible private landowners or Indian tribes that include the right for NRCS to develop and implement a wetland reserve restoration easement plan.  This plan restores, protects and enhances the wetland’s functions and values.

  • Agricultural Land Easements protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the 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.  Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private forest land.  NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.
  • Wetland Reserve Easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

Contacts:

Local:

  • Clermont/Brown Counties:  Lori Lenhart, District Conservationist 513.732.2191 ext 102
  • Highland County:  Lee Walker, Resource Conservationist 937.393.1922
  • Clinton County:  Josh Wilt District Conservationist 937.382.2461

State:

  • Barbara Baker, Assistant State Conservationist for Natural Resources 644.255.2502

Agency:  Natural Resources Conservation Service

Program Website