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Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program : An Overview of Program Requirements. Administered by the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Program Purpose: Protecting Topsoil.
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program: An Overview of Program Requirements Administered by the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Program Purpose: Protecting Topsoil The purpose of FRPP is to work with State, Tribal and local governments and nongovernmental organizations to purchase permanent conservation easements for the purpose of protecting topsoil by limiting nonagricultural uses of the land. Landowners retain the agricultural and fee simple rights to the property.
How the Program Works: • NRCS uses a public notice process to request FRPP applications from eligible governmental entities and non-governmental organizations. • During the application window, eligible entities submit parcels that they would like to protect. • At the State level, NRCS funds applications that meet FRPP national and state criteria. • Landowners apply through state and local governments and non-governmental organizations.
Authorized/Apportioned Funding Levels • FY 2002-$50 million/$50 million • FY 2003-$100 million/$75.1 million • FY 2004-$125 million/$88 million • FY 2005-$125 million/$106 million • FY 2006-$100 million • FY 2007-$97 million • Total Funds-$597 million
Eligible Lands • Farms or ranches must be privately owned and contain: • at least 50% of prime, unique, or statewide or locally important soil, or • a historical or archaeological resource on the State or National Register, or formally eligible for the National Register. • Includes cropland, rangeland, grassland, and pasture land, as well as wetlands and incidental (less than 50 percent) forest land that are part of an agricultural operation. • Eligible land must be owned by landowners who certify that they do not exceed the Adjusted Gross Income limitation eligibility requirements. • Subject to a pending offer. Pending offer is defined as a willing seller and willing buyer, with cash or donations in hand at the time of application.
Ineligible Lands • Public Land, unless the acquisition is temporary and the land is transferred prior to easement closure. • Land that is already subject to an easement or other deed restrictions that prevents its conversion to non-agricultural use . • Land owned by a Trust, whose purpose is to protect historical or natural resources, such as open space, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources, unless the acquisition is temporary and the land is transferred prior to easement closure. • Land owned or operated by a landowner not in compliance with highly erodible land or wetland compliance provisions.
Submitting An Application Lands to Be Acquired • Map of Proposed Parcels • Amount and Source of Funding Available • Acquisition Criteria • Detailed Description of Parcels • Map of Other Protected Parcels • Estimated Easement Cost • Current Appraisals (parcels receive higher ranking)
Submitting An Application Lands to be Acquired Cont. • Example of Proposed Easement Deed • Indication of Accessibility to Markets • Indication of Existing Agricultural Infrastructure • Indication of Development Threat • Other Assessment Factors • Other Partners • Any State RequiredInformation
Examining the Ranking Criteria: Evaluating State and National Priorities Entity and parcel selection will be based on national criteria as determined by the NRCS Chief, set forth in the RFP, and additional State criteria as determined by the appropriate State Conservationist, with advice from the State Technical Committee.
Cooperative Agreement The legal agreement with which the Federal Government establishes partnerships with State, Tribal, or local governments or non-governmental organizations.
Easement Requirements Specific Provisions • Permanent easements only, unless prohibited by State law • Purpose: Protection of Topsoil • Impervious Surface: 2-6% • Limited Residential and Rural Enterprise Development • Conservation Planning Paragraph
Easement RequirementsGeneral Provisions • Condemnation and Extinguishment Paragraphs • Amendment Approval • No Merger • Title and Environmental Warranties • Indemnification Paragraph • NRCS Acceptance Signature
FRPP Information • FRPP website: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/ National FRPP Manager: Denise Coleman email@example.com Phone: (202) 720-3527