NRCS-CO: USDA Funding Available for Colorado Landowners to Help Protect Wetlands and Wildlife Habitat

Applications into the ACEP Wetlands Reserve Easement Program Accepted until Friday, April 24, 2020.

DENVER, CO, March 19, 2020 — Clint Evans, State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado, announces the opportunity for enrollment into the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (ACEP-WRE).

Applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, to your local NRCS Field Office located within the USDA Service Center that services your county.

ACEP-WRE provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands, wetlands, and their related benefits. ACEP-WRE easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. They also have a wide range of additional benefits, including filtering sediments and chemicals to improve water quality, reducing impacts of flooding, recharging groundwater, protecting biological diversity, and providing opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

ACEP-WRE enrollment options include permanent easements, 30-year easements, term easements and 30-year contracts. NRCS pays a specific percentage of the fair market value of the easement as well as restoration costs for each easement option.

Land eligible for ACEP-WRE includes farmed or converted wetlands, riparian areas, and other wetland types that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS will prioritize applications based the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

For more information, application documents and forms, please visit our website or you may contact Heather Foley, NRCS Easement Coordinator in Colorado, at heather.foley@co.usda.gov or 720-544-2805.

Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, at your local NRCS field office located within a USDA Service Center. Postmarked applications sent via mail WILL NOT be accepted.

Only properly completed and executed applications that are submitted on the appropriate forms and accompanied by all required supporting documentation by these cutoff dates will be considered for funding in FY 2020. All these applications will be reviewed, ranked, and considered for funding according to the new ACEP interim rule and policy. Complete applications received after the cutoff date may be considered in the next application period. Incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.