NB_300_19_8 - NB 300-19-8 LTP – Interim Guidance for Administering and Implementing ACEP in FY 2019
NB 300-19-8 LTP – Interim Guidance for Administering and Implementing ACEP in FY 2019
National Bulletin: 300-19-8 Date: November 20, 2018
Subject: LTP – Interim Guidance for Administering and Implementing ACEP in FY 2019

Purpose.  To provide State conservationists (STCs) and directors of the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas interim guidance for administering and implementing ACEP in FY 2019.   
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2019
Background.  This national bulletin provides interim guidance for carrying out ACEP implementation under the published ACEP regulation (7 CFR Pt. 1468) and Title 440, Conservation Programs Manual, Part 528, policy in fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019). State conservationists must use the attached guidance to initially administer ACEP in FY 2019.
Explanation.  Due to the uncertainty with the new Farm Bill, this FY 2019 interim guidance is being issued to provide direction and guidance on ACEP activities that can occur during this interim period. Current authority allows NRCS to continue conducting program activities with existing funding though no new funding will be made available unless authorized in the new Farm Bill or separate authorization. Any subsequent changes in legislation or authorizations that affect ACEP implementation will be communicated by the deputy chief of programs upon such action.

At this time, State conservationists may not announce new ACEP funding opportunities or application cutoff dates. However, States may continue to accept new applications on a continuous basis and conduct limited activities associated with new or prior year unfunded applications as outlined in attachment A to this bulletin. States must also continue to administer all active, valid, prior-year ACEP enrollment agreements, and all existing, closed easements as identified in attachment A.

Attachment B to this bulletin provides specific guidance to those State conservationists that received approval to proceed in FY 2019 with the enrollment of designated high priority eligible applications that were selected for funding in FY 2018 with a reservation documented in NEST but that were not fully executed prior to the end of the fiscal year.

In general, States will continue to utilize the NRCS business processes until new guidance is provided regarding the processes to request services through the Farm Production and Conservation Business Center. Easement Support Services (ESS) Branch will also follow the guidance in this bulletin in providing direct acquisition and realty services to the States serviced by ESS.

This bulletin does not provide guidance for implementation of RCPP funded easement enrollments in FY 2019. Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) specific guidance for FY 2019 easement enrollment will be issued at a later date.   
Contact.  For questions regarding ACEP-ALE, GRP or FRPP enrollments, contact Jerome Faulkner, national ACEP-ALE, FRPP/GRP Program manager, at jerome.faulkner@wdc.usda.gov or ACEP-WRE or WRP enrollments, Andrew James, national WRP/WRE Program manager, at andrew.james@wdc.usda.gov.


Deputy Chief of Programs


Attachment A - ACEP Guidance

Attachment B - FY 2019 Enrollment of Approved FY 2018 Projects

[NB_300_19_8 - November 2018]