Deadline extension for NJ's agricultural conservation program

Apr 30, 2024


The New Jersey Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE) applications. This final signup is a significant opportunity for stakeholders to participate in the fiscal year 2024 funding round.

The ACEP-ALE initiative aims to safeguard the agricultural viability and conservation values of farmlands by limiting their conversion to non-agricultural uses. The program targets federally recognized Indian Tribes, state or local government units, and NGOs that have established farmland protection programs.

These entities are eligible for federal funding that covers up to 50% of the appraised value of the conservation easements. For grasslands of special significance, the support increases to 75%. Applicants must show a dedication to long-term conservation, including the capability to acquire, manage, and enforce easements, along with sufficient staffing and financial resources.

The application process is stringent, requiring complete and properly executed submissions by the July 1, 2024, deadline. Prospective applicants should send their packages via email or traditional mail, ensuring all required documents are included as specified on the official State ACEP website.

This program not only aims to preserve valuable agricultural lands but also supports the operational needs of organizations committed to conservation, ensuring the sustained use of these lands for agricultural purposes backed by the USDA.

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