Colorado NRCS Announces Application Cut-Off Dates for 2020 Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE)
Application packages are due on the following NEW dates by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration:
ROUND 1 – Friday, April 24th, 2020
ROUND 2 – Monday, May 18th, 2020
DENVER, CO, March 20, 2020 – Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist, Clint Evans, announced the 2020 application cut-off dates for eligible entities to participate in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE) in Colorado. There will be two rounds of funding that will help prioritize funding in a compressed funding year. Application packages are due on Friday April 24th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration in Round 1 and on Monday, May 18th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration in Round 2. Funding levels for Colorado NRCS will be announced at a later date.
The purpose of the ACEP-ALE program is to (1) protect the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses of that land that negatively affect the agricultural uses and conservation values and (2) protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible land.
Applicants (eligible entities) must be a federally recognized Indian Tribe, state or local units of government, or a non-governmental organization. Applicants must have an established farmland protection program that purchases agricultural conservation easements for the purpose of protecting agriculture use and related conservation values by limiting conversion to nonagricultural uses of the land.
USDA provides up to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement in this voluntary program and 75 percent for qualifying Grasslands of Special Significance (GSS). The landowner retains ownership and continues to use the land for agricultural purposes.
To be eligible to receive ALE funding, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands; a capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements; adequate staff capacity for monitoring and easement stewardship; and the availability of funds.
Completed application packets should be emailed to Heather Foley at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Heather Foley, Easements Coordinator, USDA-NRCS, Denver Federal Center, Building 56, Room 2604, Denver, CO 80225. The deadline to submit
the application packet is Friday, April 24th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for Round 1 and Monday, May 18th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for Round 2.
Applications postmarked or timestamped after these deadlines 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.
For more information about ACEP-ALE, please contact Heather Foley at 720-544-2805. You can also visit your local NRCS Service Center or visit the Colorado NRCS website at www.co.nrcs.usda.gov.