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.



Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Local Service Centers can be found in the blue pages of the local telephone directory under the heading USDA Service Center or through the office locator assistance on the NRCS website found at www.nrcs.usda.gov.



Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Redacted Due To Pii $ 2,337   2020-01-302020-01-30
Redacted Due To Pii $ 228   2020-01-282020-01-28
Redacted Due To Pii $ 56,927   2020-01-222020-01-22
Redacted Due To Pii $ 262   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 596   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 63   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 718   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 860   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 109   2020-01-212020-01-21
Redacted Due To Pii $ 840   2020-01-172020-01-17



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

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.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

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.

Beneficiary Eligibility

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.

Credentials/Documentation

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. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

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.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. 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.

Award Procedures

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.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

Food Security Act of 1985This 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. , Public Law 199-198.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Within a Federal fiscal year (October 1 September 30) based on funding availability.

Appeals

Applicants or participants may appeal decisions regarding this program in accordance with 7 CFR Part 614 and Parts 11 and 780.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: Percent: 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 program.

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 sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Annual reports on the status of the easements acquired will be prepared by the eligible entity and submitted to the NRCS State Office..

No cash reports are required.

Fund disbursement reports are prepared by NRCS.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

No performance monitoring is required.

Audits

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements. 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

Records of easements acquired will be maintained for the life of the easements by the eligible entity and NRCS.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1004-0-1-302.

Obigations

(Salaries) FY 16 $1,621,000; FY 17 est $22,414,000; and FY 18 est $0. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 16 $138,000; FY 17 est $1,970,000; and FY 18 est $14,000,000

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..

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Local Service Centers can be found in the blue pages of the local telephone directory under the heading USDA Service Center or through the office locator assistance on the NRCS website found at www.nrcs.usda.gov.

Headquarters Office

John Rissler 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Email: John.Rissler@wdc.usda.gov Phone: 202-720-3524

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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