NB_440_19_11 - NB 440-19-11 PGM – Areawide Market Analysis Statement of Work and Specifications for the Wetlands Reserve Easement Component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
NB 440-19-11 PGM – Areawide Market Analysis Statement of Work and Specifications for the Wetlands Reserve Easement Component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
National Bulletin: 440-19-11 Date: April 1, 2019
Subject: PGM – Areawide Market Analysis Statement of Work and Specifications for the Wetlands Reserve Easement Component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program


Action Required By:  September 2, 2019
 
Purpose.  To provide notice of the availability of the new “Areawide Market Analysis (AWMA) Statement of Work and Specifications” for use in acquiring AWMAs for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Wetland Reserve Easement (ACEP-WRE).    
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2019
 
Background.  The United States of America, acting through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), purchases conservation easements to assist landowners in restoring, protecting, and enhancing wetlands through ACEP-WRE. The basis for the compensation offers for an easement or 30-year contract enrollment is the lowest of the following:

(i) The fair market value (FMV) of the land using one of the following methods:
• A Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) appraisal
• An areawide market analysis (AWMA)
(ii) The geographic area rate cap (GARC)
(iii) An amount voluntarily offered by the landowner

The State conservationist must determine whether to use a USPAP appraisal or an AWMA to determine FMV. Only one method may be used to determine FMV of the offered area. When the characteristics of the land are homogenous enough to provide FMVs applicable to the land uses and types in the identified market area and enough enrollment numbers are anticipated, the AWMA is the preferred method to determine FMV. FMVs derived from the AWMA provide a primary source of information for use in the development of the GARCs.
 
Explanation.  The areawide market analysis statement of work and specifications (AWMA specs) has been updated and this version is now available as an exhibit in the Conservation Programs Manual (440- CPM-528-U-528.225B). States should review the exhibit and be familiar with the process, requirements, and deliverables, including an awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the State, the contracting officer, and the vendor. The scope of work and specifications for review of the previous fiscal year’s AWMA has not changed.

The AWMA specifications are revised to address several issues identified over the last several fiscal years. These issues have been addressed to improve the AWMA and subsequent usage of the conclusions of value to develop the FMV of the ACEP-WRE.

The major change is found in section K, “Presentation of Analysis,” item 11. The vendor must analyze the data and conclusion of value to determine the range of acreage that it is appropriate to use the value to develop the FMV. States have the option to request values above these ranges if the vendor can identify and analyze sufficient sales to set another value. The State must discuss this new requirement with the vendor.

Section I, “Market Area,” includes several changes to clarify the quantity of data and analysis necessary to support conclusions of value within a market area properly. Techniques previously approved to address lack of sales data are no longer acceptable. Without sufficient sales data in a given market area, it is not possible to develop a typical FMV. Sales are needed to indicate there is a typical market. States should not limit the market areas to small areas, which can limit the number of available sales. States may consult with the vendor or the national appraisal staff to develop market areas.

Section K, “Presentation of Analysis,” item 4 and 5, are intended to determine and describe thoroughly the land use categories in the AWMA. States need to be clear to the vendor what is included in the requested land uses. The vendor must advise the State if enough sales are not found to support the land use category so these descriptions can be revised. If the State anticipates projects with land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), it must ensure that the vendor is aware and develops values for various CRP enrollment types or to include the various CRP enrollment types in the appropriate land use category.

Section A, “Background Information,” items 4 and 5, address the acceptance of the AWMA. States are authorized to accept and approve payment for the AWMA once it is received and the preliminary review by the State is completed. The national appraisal staff cannot meet the time restraints for thorough review and analysis prior to payment. The vendor is made aware that final approval is reserved to the national appraisal staff. The vendor may need to provide corrections and additions for the AWMA to reach the final approval.
 
Contact.  Questions should be directed to Robert Ramsey, chief appraiser, by email at robert.ramsey@wdc.usda.gov or Don Howard, national appraiser, at don.howard@wdc.usda.gov.
 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs

 
 
     
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