Grassland Reserve Program
To assist landowners and operators in restoring and protecting eligible grazing lands, including rangeland, pastureland and certain other lands through rental contracts and easements.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; Z - Salaries and Expenses
Food Security Act of 1985, Public Law 99-198
The Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79
Grassland Reserve Program was repealed by The Agricultural Act of 2014(2014 Farm Bill), effective February 7, 2014. Therefore, no new enrollments are authorized for this program as of the effective date.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
GRP is available on privately owned lands. Eligible land includes grassland, land that contains forbs, or shrubs, including rangeland and pasture land; or land that is located in an area that has historically been dominated by grassland, forbs, and shrubs; and has potential to provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value. Incidental lands, in conjunction with eligible land, may also be considered for enrollment to allow for the efficient administration of an easement or rental contract.
Only landowners may submit applications for easements; landowners and others who have general control of the acreage may submit applications for rental contracts. Easements may also be acquired by eligible entities based on a 50 percent cost-share with the Federal government. Eligible entities are defined as units of State, local or Tribal government or nongovernmental organizations that have a charter describing a commitment to conserving ranchland, agricultural land, or grassland for grazing and conservation purposes. All participants are subject to the Adjusted Gross Income Provision set forth in 7 CFR Part 1400.
Eligible entities must demonstrate relevant experience and resources to administer a GRP easement. Its charter or mission describes its long term commitment to conserving ranchland, agricultural land, or grassland for grazing and conservation purposes. NRCS evaluates an entities' capacity to acquire, manage and enforce easements; its staffing and the ability of an entity to provide matching funds before entering into a cooperative agreement.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is not required for this listing. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. USDA established criteria to evaluate and rank applications for easement and rental contract enrollment. Ranking criteria emphasized support for high quality grasslands and shrublands; grazing operations; plant and animal biodiversity;and grasslands under threat of conversion to cropping or development. Individual project selection was made by State level USDA officials.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. This program was repealed by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), effective February 7, 2014. Therefore, no new enrollments are authorized for this program after that date.
NRCS State Offices ranked the individual parcels in the applications based on ranking criteria established by the State Technical Committee. The ranking factors were developed based on national and State priorities.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Within a Federal fiscal year (October 1 September 30) based on funding availability.
Applicants or participants may appeal decisions regarding this program in accordance with 7 CFR Part 614 and Parts 11 and 780.
How are proposals selected?
How may assistance be used?
GRP easements and rental contracts are emphasize support for working grazing lands. Easements and rental contracts (1) permit grazing on the land in a manner that is consistent with maintaining the viability of the native and natural grass, shrub, forest, and wildlife species adapted to the locality; (2) permit haying, mowing, or harvesting for seed production, except during the nesting and brood-rearing seasons for birds in the area that are in significant decline; (3) allow for fire rehabilitation and construction of firebreaks, fences, watering facilities and practices that protect and restore the grasslands functions and values; and (4) prohibit the production of row crops, fruit trees, vineyards, or any other agricultural commodities. Both easements and rental contracts require that the land is managed to maintain the viability of the plant community as described in the conservation or grazing management plan.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
This program was repealed by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), effective February 7, 2014. Therefore, no new enrollments are authorized for this program after that date.
Records of easements acquired will be maintained for the life of the easements by the eligible entity and NRCS.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is voluntary. 50%. For GRP acquisitions made through a Cooperative Agreement, each eligible entity is required to provide, in cash, at least 50 percent of the purchase price of the conservation easement. Purchase price is defined as the appraised fair market value minus any landowner donation. The landowner donation is not a cash donation, but is merely the reduction in value the landowner will accept as payment for the sale of the conservation easement. Each eligible entity is required to fund its own administrative costs in acquiring easements, such as surveys, appraisals, deed preparation, title searches, and costs incurred in restoring, managing and enforcing the easements.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Easement duration is either perpetual, or the maximum duration permitted by State law. Financial assistance for easement acquisition is provided at closing. For rental contracts, payments are made annually on the agreement anniversary date of USDA approval. For both easements and rental contracts, if restoration activities are required, financial assistance for such activities is provided when required practices are established. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for the location of the nearest USDA service center. For a list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses, information is available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/.
1400 and Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250 US
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$1,000.00; FY 19 est $5,175,000.00; FY 20 est $5,980,000.00; FY 17$255,000.00; FY 16$138,000.00; - (Salaries and Expenses) FY 18$1,461,000.00; FY 19 est $9,825,000.00; FY 20 est $11,353,000.00; FY 17$4,700,000.00; FY 16$1,621,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The 5 year average estimated cost per acre for easement acquisition was approximately $400, ranging from $65 per acre to over $30,000 per acre. The average estimated cost per acre for rental contracts was $134 per acre over the life of the rental contract. Over 250 GRP easements were acquired on over 117,000 acres.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
GRP rental contracts are limited to $50,000 per person per year. GRP restoration agreements are also limited to $50,000 per person per year. Grassland Reserve Program Website; www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp..
Examples of Funded Projects