The NRCS received $3.4 million for the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program for 2013 and has set an application deadline for this funding cycle of Feb. 22, 2013. NRCS accepts applications year round.
The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program is a voluntary easement program that assists farmers and ranchers preserve their agricultural lands. The program provides matching funds to state, tribal, and local governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) with existing agricultural land protection programs to purchase conservation easements.
To qualify for FRPP, a farm or ranch must:
· Be privately owned land.
· Contain at least 50 percent of prime, unique, statewide, or locally important soils or contain historic or archeological sites.
· Be part of a pending offer from a state, tribal, or local government, or a nongovernmental organization (NGO) agricultural land protection program.
· Have a conservation plan on highly erodible land acres.
· Contain sufficient acres to sustain agricultural production.
· Include eligible lands such as cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland, and forestland that are part of the agricultural operation.
· Involve landowners who do not exceed the adjusted gross income provisions.
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program conservation easements only limit subdivision and development rights on the property. Landowners continue farming and ranching as prior to the easement. Also, the federal match does not require any public access.
More program information and application forms are available at www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/index.html. You can also contact Dennis Dellwo, FRPP program manager, at 406-587-6748 or firstname.lastname@example.org.