Easements and Reserves

Easements and reserves help landowners protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches across the country.

Easements and Reserves Programs

Private landowners are key to protecting wetlands, grasslands, farms, and forests. USDA offers these programs to help keep working lands in family hands and wetlands as wetlands.

Benefits to Different Land Types

  

Wetlands

Wetlands are a home to many species and benefit society by storing floodwaters, filtering pollutants, serving as a carbon sink, and providing recreation opportunities.

Wetland easements and reserves can:

  • Protect and restore wetlands
  • Improve habitat
  • Improve water quality 

 

Grasslands

Grasslands include rangeland, pastureland, or shrubland. Easements and reserves help farmers keep grasslands working while providing improved habitat for animals that call grasslands home.

Grasslands easements and reserves can:

  • Protect native grasses and forbs
  • Improve habitat
  • Prevent the development of rural lands

 

Agricultural Lands

Whether they span 1 or 100 acres, privately owned farms across the nation provide open space and natural resources for all sorts of animals. Easements and reserves help farmers improve and maintain their lands.

Agricultural land easements and reserves can:

  • Improve agricultural lands
  • Prevent the development of rural lands
  • Keep working lands in family hands

 

Forests

From New England to California, our country's diverse forests are home to songbirds, wild game, and fish.

Forest easements and reserves can:

  • Improve wildlife habitat
  • Enhance carbon sequestration
  • Improve biodiversity

Easements and Reserves Videos

Land Trust Alliance + NRCS

Together, these organizations are keeping working lands in family hands. In the past 25 years, the NRCS has enrolled more than 24,000 easements covering over 5 million acres. In many cases, these voluntary easements were finished in partnership with local land trusts and nonprofit organizations conserving land for public benefit. (Video by Land Trust Alliance)

video duration time4 minute video

Wetland Reserve Easements

Nathan Hudson, a Sussex County farmer has enrolled more than 500 acres in the USDA-NRCS WRE program. The benefits are immense and his commitment to conservation improves water quality, provides wildlife habitats. (Video by Sussex Conservation District)

video duration time3 minute video

Protecting Endangered Butterfly with CRP

CRP is helping to restore habitat for an important pollinator – the Karner Blue butterfly. Here’s a report from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

video duration time3 minute video

Find Your Local Service Center

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.