The American Indian Higher Education Consortium is hosting a webinar by the Natural Resources Conservation Service on Thursday, April 23 from 2-3 pm Eastern Time to present the details of the new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) established in the 2014 Farm Bill. The webinar will specifically discuss the implications of ACEP for Tribes and Tribal landowners.
ACEP consolidated three previous conservation easement programs to make it easier for diverse agricultural landowners to fully benefit from conservation initiatives. ACEP builds on the successes of the predecessor NRCS easement programs, which include more than 2.3 million acres of wetlands restored and protected through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and 1.1 million acres of agricultural and grasslands protected through the Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program and the Grassland reserve Program (GRP). Under ACEP’s wetland reserve easements (WRE) component, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private and tribal landowners to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of wetland reserve easements and 30 year contracts.
The comment period for the new ACEP Interim Rule that was published in the Federal Register on February 27, 2015 is open until April 28, 2015. The link to the rule in the Federal Register can be found at:https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/02/27/2015-03781/agricultural-conservation-easement-program. The webinar will include a 30 minute presentation followed by an opportunity for questions and comments from participants.
The webinar can be accessed at: https://americanindian.adobeconnect.com/aihec/. There is no password required. Participants just enter their names at the prompt and they will be placed in the meeting. For audio: dial 1-866-210-1669 and enter the participant code 4306937#.