NRCS Easement Programs WRP –Wetland Reserve Program GRP –Grassland Reserve Program FRPP –Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
Wetland Reserve Program Overview –Achieve the greatest wetland functions and values, along with optimizing wildlife habitat, on every enrolled acre –NRCS holds CE deed –Restrictive-use easement deed –50 CEs in Wyoming
Grassland Reserve Program Overview –Assist landowners in protecting grazing uses and related conservation values through rental contracts and easements Wyoming –Four Easements Permissible Activities –Grazing plan required –Common grazing activities –Haying, mowing or harvesting for seed production Nesting season restrictions
Grassland Reserve Program Eligible entity may hold the easement –Entity must provide a share of the purchase price equal to U.S. share –U.S. maintains contingent rights
FRPP CE Holders –Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation –Wyoming Game & Fish –Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust –Wyoming Land Trust –The Nature Conservancy –The Conservation Fund –Sheridan Community Land Trust
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Voluntary program to help farmers and ranchers preserve their ag. Land –Entire operations/watershed scale Provides matching funds (up to 50% fair market value of the easement) to “eligible entity” –State, or local government and non-government organizations, i.e. Land Trusts Existing farm and ranch land protection programs to purchase easements
FRPP Eligible Landowners –FRPP participants to be in compliance with highly erodible lands (HEL) and wetland conservation (WC) provisions of the Farm Bill prior to receiving FRPP funding. NRCS will confirm compliance with the highly erodible lands (HEL) and wetland conservation (WC) provisions before obligating funding in the cooperative agreement.
FRPP Adjusted gross income –Landowners with an average adjusted gross income limitation exceeding $1.0 million for the three tax years immediately preceding the year the cooperative agreement is signed are not eligible to receive program benefits or payments. However, an exemption is provided in cases where 2/3 of the adjusted gross income limitation is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry operations.
Process 1.Financial Assistance Allocation 1.varies 2.Request for Proposals 3.Ranking of Proposals 4.Notification of Funding 5.Supporting Documentation 6.Cooperative Agreement –Funds obligation mechanism
Process Dollars are obligated – now what? Fiscal Year of Fund Obligation Closing Deadline Payment Request Deadline 2011March 31, 2013August 31, 2013 2012March 31, 2014August 31, 2014 2013March 31, 2015August 31, 2015