United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Grants to Vermont nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation easements of privately owned agricultural land. Grantees will work with landowners to secure easements in order to protect important agricultural land in perpetuity from subdivision and development. This program also protects grazing land by conserving grassland, rangeland, pastureland, and shrubland.
GrantWatch ID#: 182715
Eligible entities will sign an agreement with NRCS for a period of three years.
Entity Eligibility Criteria:
Any state or local unit of government, or nonprofit organization can apply for ALE funds by demonstrating:
-A commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands
-A capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements
-Sufficient staff dedicated to monitoring and easement stewardship
-The availability of funds
Eligible land must be privately owned agricultural land and:
-Contain at least 50% prime, unique, statewide, or locally important farmland;
-Contains historical or archeological resources;
-The enrollment of which would protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring and conserving land; or
-The protection of which will further a State or local policy consistent with the purposes of ACEP; and land that is: cropland; rangeland; grassland or land that contains forbs, or shrub land for which grazing his the predominant use; located in an area that has been historically dominated by grass land, forbs, or shrubs and could provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value; pastureland; or nonindustrial private forest land that contributes to the economic viability of an offered parcel or serves as a buffer to protect such land from development
The eligibility of the land and the landowner for each parcel must be established at the time the parcel is submitted for potential funding.
Forest management plans are required on all parcels with forest cover on greater than 20 acres or 20% of the easement area (whichever is greater). If the parcel requires a forest management plan, a certification by the landowner that such a plan will be completed prior to closing is needed.
This program shares 50% of the easement purchase cost.
Applications for agricultural land conservation projects sponsored by eligible entities are due to the NRCS State Office no later than Friday February 2, 2018.
To learn how to get started with NRCS, visit:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Contact your local NRCS office to learn more about ACEP and other technical and financial assistance available through Vermont NRCS:
Vermont ACEP-ALE Contact:
802-951-6796 ext. 228