NRCS Colorado Press Release

USDA Partners to Conserve Vital, Native Grasslands Near Agate, Colorado

RCPP ACEP-ALE Application Packages Accepted until Tuesday, May 26, 2020

DENVER, CO, April 24, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado partnered with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) to provide funding to conserve vital, native, prairie, grasslands threatened by urban development. The CCALT was recently awarded funding through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to purchase conservation easements in and around Agate, Colorado. Landowners interested in building watershed resiliency within the project area through an easement should contact the CCALT by Tuesday, May 26, 2020. You can reach CCALT at 303.225.8677 or info@ccalt.org.

The CCALT shared, “The area around the town of Agate and much of Elbert County are expected to face a significant increase in development pressure, as home and rental prices in Denver and other Front Range communities are driven up by the 10,000+ new residents moving into the region each month. That influx of new residents is already being felt on the eastern plains. One tool to conserve these resources before they are lost to conversion is conservation easements, which limit development while allowing ranching to continue.”

The NRCS manages and administers the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and will use its current Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) requirements and ranking to help mitigate the growing development pressure.

The RCPP encourages partners to join in efforts with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales. And the ACEP-ALE program protects 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. It also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible land.

For more information about ACEP-ALE and RCPP, please visit the NRCS RCPP webpage or contact Heather Foley at 720-544-2805 or heather.foley@usda.gov. For more information about this project and the CCALT, contact Maggie Hanna, at 303.225.8677 or maggie@ccalt.org.

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.