The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications from agricultural producers and forest landowners from Florida for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service accepts these applications year-round, but producers and landowners should apply by Dec. 31 to be considered for funding in the current cycle, according to a news release from the USDA.
The easement program provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands, and their related benefits.
Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, the NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-government organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.
Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements components, the NRCS helps restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.
“This is a great opportunity to combat the climate crises and conserve Florida’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources, Juan Hernandez, the Florida State Conservationist for NRCS, said in the release.
The land easements protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the conversion of productive working lands to other uses, and has other benefits, too.
The wetland reserve easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, improve water quality by filing sediments and chemicals, reduce flood, recharge groundwater and have other benefits, according to the release.
To apply, contact the NRCS at your local USDA Service Center. To find your local service center, go to Farmers.gov.
Published December 15, 2021
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