2013 Conservation Easement Applications due February 15 for Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

FRPP is a voluntary conservation easement program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agricultural production. The program provides matching funds to state, tribal, or local governments and nongovernmental organizations with existing farmland protection programs to purchase conservation easements. These permanent easements protect agricultural land, and important farmland soils, by prohibiting conversion to non-agricultural uses.

In 2012, NRCS California helped protect four properties including:

Private landowners interested in applying for the program must start the process by contacting their local land trust, non-profit conservation group, or other eligible entity with a farmland protection program and funds necessary to match the federal contribution from NRCS.

While NRCS accepts FRPP applications throughout the year, the agency plans to make 2013 funding decisions from a pool of applications received by February 15. As with all NRCS easements, the landowner retains the title to the land, and the right to control access and recreational use. Furthermore, the land remains on the tax rolls.

SOURCE USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service