Protect Your Florida Agricultural Land with a Conservation Easement

Dan Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE), Agricultural Land Easements (ALE), Florida, USDA-NRCS


If you are an agricultural landowner interested in protecting the integrity of your property, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Florida (NRCS-FL) encourages you to consider safeguarding your land with a conservation easement. While applications are accepted year-round; applying for Fiscal Year 2024 funding is being accepted until December 31, 2023.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) protects the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses which negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values. The ACEP protects grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible grazing land, and it also protects, restores and enhances wetlands on eligible land.

The Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component funds permanent agricultural land easements that not only protect the future of the nation’s food supply, but also support environmental quality, wildlife habitat, and historic preservation and protection of open spaces. Landowner applicants who are interested must apply through an eligible entity – such as a land trust, municipality, or State agencies. NRCS will prioritize applications that protect agricultural uses and related conservation values of the land and those that maximize the protection of contiguous acres devoted to agricultural use.


Under the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) component, landowners may apply directly to NRCS for a conservation easement to restore wetlands impacted by agriculture. A WRE will provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity, provide resilience to climate change, and provide opportunities for limited re creational activities.

To learn more, contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center. Or, contact Crenel Francis, to apply for ACEP-WRE and Sara May, for information on ACEP-ALE.