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ACEP Table of Contents
Subpart A – ACEP General Information
528.02 Public Access to Data
Subpart B – ACEP Responsibilities
528.11 Other Agency Involvement
528.12 Role of State Technical Committee
Subpart C – ACEP Appeals
Subpart D – ACEP-ALE General Information and Eligibility Requirements
528.30 Overview of the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) Component
528.31 ACEP-ALE Application Process and Eligibility Overview
528.32 Entity Eligibility Requirements and Responsibilities
528.33 Land Eligibility
528.34 Ineligible Lands
528.35 Payment Eligibility Criteria Applied to Landowners as Beneficiary
528.36 Participation in Other USDA Programs
Subpart E – ACEP-ALE Application, Ranking, and Selection
528.40 ACEP-ALE Application, Ranking, and Selection Overview
528.41 ACEP-ALE Ranking Process
528.42 Applications for ACEP-ALE Cost-Share Assistance
528.43 ACEP-ALE Cost-Share Assistance and Match Requirements
Subpart F – ACEP-ALE Cooperative Agreements and Grant Agreements
528.50 Overview of ACEP-ALE Agreements
528.51 Fund Obligation and Adjustments Under the Cooperative Agreement
528.52 Determining Fair Market Value of the Agricultural Land Easement
Subpart G – ACEP-ALE Deed, Title, and Plan Requirements
528.60 Agricultural Land Easements Deed Requirements
528.61 Guidelines for Agricultural Land Easement Deed Review
528.62 Title Review and Clearance
528.63 The Agricultural Land Easement Plan
Subpart H – ACEP-ALE Eligible Entity Certification
528.70 Overview of the Entity Certification Process
528.71 Certification Prerequisites
528.72 Certification Request Package
528.73 Reviewing the Certification Request Package
528.74 Certification and Administrative Flexibility Provided to Certified Eligible Entities
528.75 Quality Assurance Review and Decertification
Subpart I – ACEP-ALE Financial Management Procedures
528.81 Calculating Final Easement Payment Amounts
528.82 Easement Closing and Payment Procedures
Subpart J – ACEP-ALE Easement Records, Monitoring, Enforcement
528.90 Maintaining Official Case Files and NEST Records
528.91 Agricultural Land Easement Monitoring and Review
528.92 Agricultural Land Easement Enforcement
Subpart K – ACEP-WRE Application Process and Eligibility Requirements
528.100 Overview of the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) Component
528.101 Application Process Overview
528.102 Landowner Information
528.103 Landowner Eligibility Determination
528.104 Ineligible Landowners
528.105 Land Eligibility
528.106 Ineligible Land
528.107 Notification of Ineligibility
Subpart L – ACEP-WRE Ranking Criteria
528.111 Establishing ACEP-WRE Ranking Criteria
528.112 Ranking Process
528.113 Ranking and Selection
Subpart M – ACEP-WRE Enrollment and Acquisition
528.121 Selection for Enrollment
528.122 Determining Easement or 30-Year Contract Compensation
528.123 Easement Boundary Survey
528.124 Finalizing Preliminary Investigations for Easements and 30-Year Contracts
528.125 Easement Closing Process
528.126 30-Year Contract Execution Process
528.127 Records Management
Subpart N – ACEP-WRE Restoration
528.132 Restoration Requirements
528.133 Restoration Practices
528.134 Preliminary and Final Wetland Reserve Plan of Operations (WRPO)
528.135 Compliance With Other Requirements
528.136 Design and Implementation
Subpart O – ACEP-WRE Contract Administration
528.141 Contracts to Implement the Wetland Reserve Plan of Operations (WRPO)
528.142 Contract Development for WRPO Implementation
528.144 Modifications to the Easement Restoration Agreement
528.145 Contract Status Review
528.146 Cancellation and Termination of Conservation Program Contracts
528.147 30-Year Contract Modification, Cancellation, and Termination Policy
528.148 Converting an Existing 30-Year Easement to a Permanent Easement
Subpart P – ACEP-WRE Maintenance, Management, Monitoring, and Enforcement
528.152 Compatible Uses
528.153 Prohibited and Non-compatible Uses
528.154 Reserved Rights
528.155 Operation and Maintenance
528.159 Other Considerations
Subpart Q – ACEP-WRE Special Enrollment Options
528.161 Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnerships (WREP) Enrollment
528.162 Reservation of Grazing Rights Option
ACEP Long-Term Easement Administration
Subpart R – ACEP Easement Subordination, Modification, Exchange, and Termination
528.170 Overview of Easement Administration Action Authority
528.171 Easement Administration Action Procedural Requirements
528.172 Infrastructure Project Requests
528.173 Minor Administrative Corrections
Subpart S – Reserved
Subpart T – ACEP Definitions
Subpart U – ACEP Exhibits
528.200 ACEP Statute and Regulation
A. ACEP Statute
Click here for subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985.
B. ACEP Regulation
528.201 ACEP Landowner Eligibility Forms
A. Form CCC-941, “Adjusted Gross Income Certification and Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information”
Click here for Form CCC-941.
B. Form AD-1026, “Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC)
Certification” (English and Spanish versions included)
Click here for Form AD-1026
C. Landowner Eligibility Matrix
Click here for the landowner eligibility matrix.
528.202 ACEP Signature Authority Documentation
A. Form CCC-901, “Member’s Information”
Click here for Form CCC-901.
B. Form FSA-211, “FSA-NRCS Power of Attorney”
Click here for Form FSA-211.
C. Form NRCS-CPA-09, “NRCS Power of Attorney”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-09.
528.203 ACEP Onsite Evaluation Documents
A. Landowner Disclosure Worksheet
Click here for the landowner disclosure worksheet.
B. Form NRCS-CPA-52, “NEPA Environmental Evaluation Worksheet”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-52.
528.204 ACEP Hazardous Substance Examination Documents
A. Hazardous Materials Field Inspection Checklist
Click here for a hazardous materials field inspection checklist.
B. Hazardous Materials Landowner Interview
Click here for a hazardous materials landowner interview.
C. All Appropriate Inquiries Worksheets 1, 2, 3
Click here for all appropriate inquiries worksheets 1, 2, and 3.
528.205 Notification of Ineligibility or Deferral for ACEP
A. Sample ACEP Ineligibility Letter
Click here for a sample ACEP ineligibility determination letter.
B. Sample ACEP Deferral Letter
Click here for a sample ACEP deferral letter.
528.206 ACEP Title Review and Clearance Documents
A. Form NRCS-LTP-27, “Preliminary Certificate of Inspection and Possession”
Click here for a Form NRCS-LTP-27.
B. Form NRCS-LTP-23, “Certificate of Use and Consent”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-23.
C. Form AD-1158, “Subordination Agreement and Limited Lien Waiver”
Click here for Form AD-1158.
D. Form NRCS-LTP-22, “Final Certificate of Inspection and Possession”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-22.
E. Title Exception Guide for NRCS Conservation Easement Programs
Click here for title exception guide.
F. Realty Terminology Desk Guide
528.207 ACEP Easement Closing Documents
A. NRCS Closing Agent Requirements
Click here for the NRCS closing agent requirements.
B. Example ALTA Closing Protection Letter – Single Transactions, Revised 4-2-14
Click here for an example ALTA closing protection letter.
528.208 Financial Management for ACEP
A. Easement Acquisition Internal Controls Prior to Obligation, Payment, and Closing Guidance
Click here for easement acquisition internal controls guidance.
528.209 ACEP Easement Administration Actions
A. Example Letter of State Conservationist Denial of Easement Administration Action Request to Project Proponent
Click here for example letter of State Conservationist denial of easement administration action request.
B. Example Letter of State Conservationist Recommendation of Easement Administration Action Request to EPD Director
Click here for example State Conservationist recommendation of easement administration action letter.
C. Addressing Proposed Infrastructure Projects Affecting NRCS Easements Pamphlet
Click here for the proposed infrastructure pamphlet.
528.210 ACEP-ALE Business Process
ACEP-ALE Business Process
Click here for a copy of the ACEP-ALE business process table.
528.211 ACEP-ALE Application Package
A. Form NRCS-CPA-041, “Entity Application for an ALE Agreement”
B. Form NRCS-CPA-041-A, “Parcel Sheet for Entity Application for an ALE Agreement”
Click here for a copy of Form NRCS-CPA-041-A.
C. ACEP-ALE Application Package for Submittal to State Office Checklist
Click here for the ACEP-ALE application package for submittal to State office checklist.
528.212 ACEP-ALE Eligible Entity Match Documentation
A. ACEP-ALE Eligible Entity Match Scenarios
Click here for ACEP-ALE match scenarios.
B. Eligible Entity Cash Contribution Requirement Waiver Request Worksheet
Click here for an eligible entity cash contribution waiver request worksheet.
C. Sample Eligible Entity Cash Contribution Waiver Request Approval Letter
Click here for a sample eligible entity cash contribution waiver request approval letter.
D. Sample Eligible Entity Cash Contribution Waiver Request Denial Letter
Click here for a sample eligible entity cash contribution waiver request denial letter.
528.213 ACEP-ALE Ranking Process
A. Example ACEP-ALE Parcel Eligibility and Ranking Form
Click here for an example ACEP-ALE parcel eligibility and ranking form.
B. Sample 2-Percent Impervious Surface Waiver Determination Worksheet
Click here for the 2-percent impervious surface waiver worksheet.
528.214 ACEP-ALE Eligible Entity Certification
A. Sample Cover Letter from an Eligible Entity Requesting Certification under ACEP-ALE
Click here for sample eligible entity certification request cover letter.
B. Sample Letter Acknowledging NRCS Receipt of an Entity Certification Request
Click here for sample NRCS receipt of entity certification request acknowledgement letter.
C. Eligible Entity Certification Request Review and Determination Checklist
Click here for eligible entity certification request review and determination checklist.
D. Sample Letter Notifying Entity of Incomplete Certification Request Package
Click here for sample incomplete certification request package notification letter.
E. Sample Letter Notifying Eligible Entity of Approval of Entity Request for Certification
Click here for sample eligible entity certification request approval letter.
F. Sample Letter Notifying Entity of Denial of Entity Request for Certification
Click here for sample entity certification request denial letter.
528.215 ACEP-ALE Agreements and Agreement Exhibits
A. Cooperative Agreement with non-certified Eligible Entity Template for General ACEP-ALE Enrollments
B. Cooperative Agreement with Noncertified Eligible Entity Template for ACEP-ALE-GSS Enrollments
C. ACEP-ALE Minimum Terms for the Protection of Agricultural Use, “Minimum Deed Terms Addendum”
Click here for ACEP-ALE minimum deed terms addendum.
D. Grant Agreement With Certified Entities on General ACEP-ALE Parcels
Click here for Grant Agreement with Certified Entities on General ACEP-ALE Parcels.
E. Grant Agreement With Certified Entities on ACEP-ALE-GSS Parcels
Click here for Grant Agreement with Certified Entities on ACEP-ALE-GSS Parcels.
F. Agreement Attachment to List Funded and Substitute ACEP-ALE Parcels
Click here for agreement attachment to list funded and substitute parcels.
G. Form AD-3031, Representation Regarding Felony Convictions and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants
Click here for Form AD-3031
H. Standard Form (SF) 424, “Application for Federal Assistance”
Click here for Form SF-424
I. SF-424A, “Budget Information Non-Construction Programs”
Click here for Form SF-424A
J. SF-424B, “Assurances Non-Construction Programs”
Click here for Form SF-424B
K. SF-425, “Federal Financial Report”
Click here for Form SF-425
528.216 ACEP-ALE Plans and Baseline Documentation
A. Baseline Documentation Report Example
Click here for example baseline document report.
B. Sample Agricultural Land Easement Plan – General
Click here for a sample agricultural land easement plan – general.
C. Sample Agricultural Land Easement Plan With Component Grasslands Management Plan
Click here for a sample agricultural land easement plan – grassland management plan component.
D. Sample Agricultural Land Easement Plan With Component HEL Conservation Plan
Click here for a sample agricultural land easement plan – HEL conservation plan component.
E. Sample Agricultural Conservation Land Plan With Component Forest Land Management Plan
Click here for a sample agricultural land easement plan – forest land management plan component.
528.217 ACEP-ALE Easement Valuation and Compensation
A. Specifications and Scope of Work for Appraisals of Real Property for ACEP-ALE
Click here for the NRCS specifications and scope of work for appraisals of real property for ACEP-ALE.
B. Specifications and Scope of Work for Areawide Market Analysis for ACEP-ALE
Click here for the Specifications and Scope of Work for Areawide Market Analysis for ACEP-ALE
528.218 ACEP-ALE Payment Request and Approval Documentation
A. Form 230, “Confirmation of Matching Funds (2002 Farm Bill)”
Click here for Form 230
B. Form 230, “Confirmation of Matching Funds (2008 Farm Bill)”
Click here for Form 230B
C. Form 230C, “Statement to Confirm Matching Funds (2014 Farm Bill) for General ACEP-ALE”
Click here for Form 230C for General ACEP-ALE.
D. Form 230D, “Statement to Confirm Matching Funds (2014 Farm Bill) for ACEP-ALE Grasslands of Special Environmental Significance”
Click here for Form 230D for ACEP-ALE-GSS..
E. Letter to the Eligible Entity Regarding NRCS Closing Agent Requirements for ACEP-ALE Advance Payments
Click here for the letter to the eligible entity regarding NRCS closing agent requirements for ACEP-ALE advance payments.
F. SF-270, “Request for Advance or Reimbursement”
Click here for SF-270.
G. NRCS Supplement to the SF-270 for Noncertified Eligible Entities
Click here for the NRCS supplement to the SF-270 for noncertified eligible entities.
H. NRCS Approval Letter for Noncertified Eligible Entity to Proceed with the ACEP-ALE Acquisition
Click here for the NRCS approval letter for a noncertified eligible entity to proceed with an ACEP-ALE acquisition.
I. NRCS Supplement to the SF-270 for Certified Entities
Click here for the NRCS supplement to the SF-270 for certified entities.
528.219 ACEP-ALE Entity Monitoring and Enforcement
A. Entity Monitoring Report Example
528.220 ACEP-WRE Business Process
A. ACEP-WRE Business Process – Easement Action Details
Click here for a copy of the easement action details.
B. ACEP-WRE Business Process –Easement Flow Chart
Click here for a copy of the easement flow chart.
528.221 ACEP-WRE Application Package
A. Form NRCS-CPA-1200, “Conservation Program Application”
Click here for a copy of Form NRCS-CPA-1200.
B. Sample ACEP-WRE Information to Applicant Letter
Click here for a sample ACEP-WRE information to applicant letter.
C. Sample ACEP-WRE Landowner Application Checklist
Click here for a sample ACEP-WRE landowner application checklist.
528.222 ACEP-WRE 24-Month Ownership Waivers
A. Sample 24-Month Ownership and Waiver Information Letter to Landowners
Click here for a sample 24-month ownership and waiver information letter.
B. 24-Month Waiver Request Worksheet
Click here for the “24-Month Waiver Request” worksheet.
528.223 ACEP-WRE Ranking Process
A. Sample ACEP-WRE Ranking Worksheet
Reserved for an ACEP-WRE sample ranking worksheet.
B. ACEP-WRE Application Package for Submittal to State Office Checklist
Click here for an application package for submittal to the State office checklist.
528.224 ACEP-WRE Selection for Enrollment
A. Form NRCS-LTP-31, “Agreement for Purchase of a Conservation Easement”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-31.
B. Form NRCS-LTP-40, “Agreement to Enter Contract for 30-Year Land Use”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-40.
C. Sample Letter of Tentative Selection for ACEP-WRE (Appraisal Projects Only)
Click here for a sample letter of tentative selection for appraisal projects.
D. Sample ACEP-WRE Offer of Easement Enrollment Letter
Click here for a sample offer of easement enrollment letter.
E. Sample Offer of 30-Year Contract Enrollment Letter
Click here for a sample offer of 30-year contract enrollment letter.
F. Sample Agreement for the Purchase of Conservation Easement Extension Letter
Click here for a sample APCE extension letter.
G. Sample ACEP-WRE Agreement to Enter Contract for 30-Year Land Use Extension Letter
Click here for a sample AECLU extension letter.
H. ACEP-WRE Agreement to Extend Existing Easement Duration
Click here for the ACEP-WRE agreement to extend existing easement duration.
528.225 ACEP-WRE Easement and 30-Year Contract Compensation
A. Sample Fair Market Value Method Determination Note to File
Click here for a sample fair market value method determination note to file.
B. ACEP-WRE Areawide Market Analysis Scope of Work
Click here for the ACEP-WRE areawide market analysis scope of work.
C. ACEP-WRE Appraisal Specifications
Click here for ACEP-WRE appraisal specifications.
D. Checklist of Items to Provide Appraiser
Click here for a checklist of items to provide the appraiser.
E. Sample Easement or 30-Year Contract Compensation Adjustment Document
Click here for a sample easement or contract compensation adjustment document.
528.226 ACEP-WRE Easement Boundary Surveys
A. NRCS Easement Programs Land Survey Specifications
Click here for the NRCS easement programs land survey specifications.
B. APCE Supplement for Landowner to Procure Easement Boundary Survey
Click here for the APCE supplement for landowner to procure easement boundary survey.
C. Easement Boundary Survey Field Review Memorandum to the File
Click here for an easement boundary survey field review memorandum to the file.
D. Instructions for Digitizing and Transmitting Easement Boundaries
Click here for instructions for digitizing and transmitting easement boundaries.
528.227 ACEP-WRE Easement Closing and Payment
A. Form NRCS-LTP-30, “Warranty Easement Deed in Perpetuity”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-30.
B. Form NRCS-LTP-32, “Warranty Easement Deed for a Period of 30 Years”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-32.
C. Example Exhibit D, Water Rights and Water Uses
Click here for an exhibit D, water rights and water uses.
D. OGC Preliminary and Final Title Opinion Request Package Documents List
Click here for OGC preliminary and final title opinion request package documents list.
E. Example ACEP-WRE NRCS Closing Instructions Letter
Click here for an example of ACEP-WRE NRCS closing instructions letter.
F. ACEP-WRE Closing Services Scope of Work
Click here for the ACEP-WRE closing services scope of work.
G. Example FSA Notification of Easement Recording
Click here for an example FSA notification of easement recording.
528.228 ACEP-WRE 30-Year Contract Execution and Payment
A. Form NRCS-LTP-43A, “Contract for 30-Year Land Use” (For lands Owned by Individual Indians)
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-43A.
B. Form NRCS-LTP-43B, “Contract for 30-Year Land Use” (For Non-Tribal-Trust Lands
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-43B.
C. Form NRCS-LTP-43C, “Contract for 30-Year Land Use” (For Tribal Trust Lands)
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-43C.
D. Form NRCS-LTP-43D, “Contract for 30-Year Land Use” (For Allotted Parcels)
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-43D.
E. Exhibit G, “Water Uses and Water Rights” for 30-year Contracts
Click here for exhibit G.
528.229 ACEP-WRE Financial Management Guidance
A. ACEP-WRE Easement and 30-year Contract Installment Payments
B. ACEP-WRE Restoration Cost Withholding for 30-Year Enrollments
528.230 ACEP-WRE Restoration
A. Sample Preliminary WRPO
Reserved for a sample preliminary WRPO.
B. Sample Final WRPO
Reserved for a sample final WRPO.
C. Example Habitat Classification Information
528.231 Conservation Program Contract Document Package
A. Form NRCS-CPA-1202, “Conservation Program Contract”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-1202.
B. CPC Appendix (Appendix to Form NRCS-CPA-1202)
Click here for the CPC appendix.
C. Form NRCS-CPA-1245, “Payment Application”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-1245.
D. Forms NRCS-CPA-1236, “Assignment of Payment”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-1236
E. Forms NRCS-CPA-1155, “Conservation Plan or Schedule of Operations”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-1155.
F. Form NRCS-CPA-1156, “Revision of Plan/Schedule of Operations or Modification of a Contract”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-1156.
G. Early Implementation Waiver
Click here for a sample early implementation waiver.
528.232 Cancellation and Termination of Conservation Program Contracts
A. Sample CPC Cancellation Without Cost Recovery Letter
Click here for a sample CPC cancellation without cost recovery letter.
B. Sample CPC Cancellation With Cost Recovery Letter
Click here for a sample CPC with cost recovery letter.
C. Sample CPC Termination Letter
Click here for a sample CPC termination letter.
D. Form NRCS-LTP-153, “Agreement Covering Non-Compliance with Provisions of Contract”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-153.
528.233 ACEP-WRE Easement Management, Maintenance, and Monitoring
A. Form AD-1160, “Compatible Use Authorization Form”
Click here for Form AD-1160
B. Form NRCS-CPA-13, “Contract Review Form”
Click here for Form NRCS-CPA-13.
C. Preacquisition Crop Harvest Authorization Letter
Click here for a preacquisition crop harvest authorization letter.
D. Sample Letter to New Landowner
Click here for a sample letter to a new landowner.
E. Sample CUA Reminder Letter
Click here for a sample CUA reminder letter.
F. Easement Violation Worksheet
Click here for an easement violation worksheet.
G. Sample Easement Violation Informal Resolution Letter
Click here for a sample easement violation informal resolution letter.
H. Sample Easement Violation Notification Letter
Click here for a sample easement violation notification letter.
I. Sample Confirmation of Remedied Violation Letter
Click here for a sample confirmation of remedied violation letter.
J. Sample Easement Violation Noncompliance Letter
Click here for a sample easement violation noncompliance letter..
K. Sample Limitations to Use of ACEP-WRE Area for Mitigation Letter
Click here for a sample limitations to use of ACEP-WRE area for mitigation letter.
528.234 ACEP-WRE Special Enrollment Options
A. WREP Partnership Agreement Template
Reserved for WREP partnership agreement template.
B. Form NRCS-LTP-33, “Warranty Easement Deed with Reservation of Grazing Rights”
Click here for Form NRCS-LTP-33.
C. Sample Exhibit E for ACEP-WRE Reservation of Grazing Rights Enrollment Option
Click here for a sample Exhibit E for ACEP-WRE Reservation of Grazing Rights Enrollment Option.
D. Sample ACEP-WRE Grazing Management Plan
Reserved for sample ACEP-WRE grazing management plan.