RENO -The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2014 funding for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). The purpose of FRPP is to protect agricultural use and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting non-agricultural uses of the land through the acquisition of conservation easements.

The deadline to submit applications to be considered in the first ranking period for fiscal year 2014 funding consideration is Monday, March 3, 2014. Applications are accepted on a continual basis; however, applications received after that date will be accepted and considered for funding if funds are available after first cycle applications are processed.

Landowners interested in participating in the program work through an eligible non-governmental organization (NGO), or state, tribal or local governments that have an existing farm or ranch land protection program. The eligible NGO, or state, tribal, or local government then submits FRPP proposals to the NRCS State Conservationist. Participating organizations are required to provide at least 25 percent matching funds with NRCS contribution not to exceed 50 percent of the fair market value determined by an appraisal of the property offered for the program.

NGOs, or state, tribal, and local governments that have an existing farm or ranch land protection program are encouraged to contact their local NRCS District Conservationist or call Gary Roeder, Assistant State Conservationist - Programs at (775)857-8500 Extension 103 to obtain more information to determine if the FRPP is a good fit to their land preservation objectives.

Please Note: Authorizations for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) expired Sept. 30, 2013. No new applications for these programs can be accepted. NRCS will continue to service prior-year contracts.

To learn more, contact your local NRCS office or go online to: