USDA to invest $138M in climate-smart easements

The USDA has announced a $138 million investment in climate-smart conservation easements.

Carrie Lindig, NRCS Easement Program Division Director, says the funds will help jumpstart conservation projects on land that has the most potential to reduce or capture carbon, methane, or nitrous oxide emissions.

“One of the great ways to offset carbon and mitigate for carbon dioxide is planting vegetation,” she said. “Trees sequester more carbon than grasses do.”

USDA says 138 new climate-smart conservation easements will be enrolled into the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are among the states included in the announcement.

She tells Brownfield the assistance is part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. “This money from the Inflation Reduction Act is on top of the money that we already get in the farm bill, so we have more dollars for conservation.”

Lindig says projects will be tentatively selected, meaning NRCS will work with applicants to complete eligibility for enrollment.

AUDIO: Carrie Lindig – NRCS Easement Program Division Director

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