The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps American Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. There are two types of easements available under this program. Under the Agricultural Land Easements programs (ACEP-ALE) land Easement management entities can nominate parcels of land to acquire development rights of working agricultural lands. 50% of the easement cost is paid by NRCS. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.
Land eligible for agricultural easements includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forest land. Land eligible for wetland reserve easements includes farmed or converted wetland that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.
Wetlands can buffer severe weather impacts to agricultural lands. Protecting wetlands increases resiliency to impacts of climate change.