Conservation Easement Program comment period open | TSLN.com

Conservation Easement Program comment period open

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on its interim final rule for the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), designed to help producers protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs into ACEP to make it easier for diverse agricultural landowners to fully benefit from conservation initiatives.

ACEP is a voluntary program created in the 2014 Farm bill to protect and restore critical wetlands on private lands through the wetland reserve easement component. ACEP also encourages farmers, ranchers and non-industrial private forest landowners to keep their private land in agricultural use through the agricultural land easement component. ACEP also conserves grasslands, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before April 28. For additional information or to provide comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRCS_FRDOC_0001-0215.

–American Sheep Industry