NB_300_22_16 - NB 300-22-16 LTP – Documentation of Stewardship Land Easements Not Funded Through NRCS Easement Programs (Other Stewardship Land Easements)
NB 300-22-16 LTP – Documentation of Stewardship Land Easements Not Funded Through NRCS Easement Programs (Other Stewardship Land Easements)
National Bulletin: 300-22-16 Date: December 15, 2021
Subject: LTP – Documentation of Stewardship Land Easements Not Funded Through NRCS Easement Programs (Other Stewardship Land Easements)


 
Purpose.   To provide current fiscal year (FY) instructions on collecting data concerning Other Stewardship Land (OSL) easements (wetland mitigation, flowage, Public Law 566, and other watershed easements).   
 
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2022
 
Background.   In order to continue to enhance data completeness and quality and fulfill requirements of a complete and accurate agency financial statement, NRCS must be able to account for all stewardship land easements. To achieve this goal, NRCS must assess and collect data associated with easements that the agency (as NRCS, the Soil Conservation Service, or the Commodity Credit Corporation), on behalf of the United States, is a holder or has other responsibilities outlined in the easement deed. More than 10 years ago, NRCS began the effort of collecting information about OSL easements at a national level.
 

Explanation.   In order to document OSL easements that have not been acquired through easement programs administered by NRCS, in which the agency on behalf of the United States has established responsibilities outlined in the deed, complete the following actions prior to National Easement Staging Tool (NEST) FY 2022 end-of-year shutdown:

  1. Collect all Food Security Act wetland mitigation easements, flowage easements, and Public Law 566 floodplain easements, and other easements administered by NRCS not enrolled through an NRCS easement program not currently in NEST and determine whether or not the agency on behalf of the United States is a holder of the easement or has some other interest or responsibility in the easement deed (e.g., monitoring, enforcement, etc.). Notify the Easement Programs Division via the Program Activity Management Solution (PAMS) at https://usdagcc.sharepoint.com/sites/nrcs_programs/epd/ams/SitePages/GeneralReqManagment.aspx if you are aware of other types of easements that similarly identify the agency as the holder on the easement deed or the agency has another defined responsibility in the easement deed or to request review of a deed to determine if it is an OSL. 

  2. Scan each OSL easement deed separately and name the resulting PDF files using the following nomenclature: State Abbreviation-FY of Deed Signed Date-Last Name/Entity Name of Landowner (e.g., ND-97-Smith).

  3. Create a new OSL record in NEST for each OSL easement.

  • Select “Other Stewardship Lands” from the “Tracking Inbox” menu on the top of the NEST home page.

  • Select “New” and enter in all required fields.

    • Use the same nomenclature to complete the “Other Identifying Name or Number” data element as was used for the naming of the PDF.

    • Select the “New Landowner” and “New Location” buttons to enter landowner and location information.

    • The “Closing date” data element will appear once all other required data elements have been entered and saved.

  • Upload the OSL easement deed to the Documents page.

For OSL records that already exist in NEST, ensure that all required data elements have been completed, including the closing date. If the OSL easement has been acquired, the NEST OSL record status should either be “Acquired” or “Completed.” “Acquired” indicates a closing date has been entered and “Completed” indicates a closing date and a restoration completion date have been entered.

The need to track, document, and steward these OSLs is an ongoing need for the agency. All new and newly discovered wetland mitigation, flowage, and Public Law 566 easement deeds should be entered into NEST within two weeks of the last signature on the deed.

 
Contact.   Questions regarding this national bulletin should be directed to NESTSupport@usda.gov.
 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs 
 
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