by Brian Ohs, Montana ALE Program Coordinator
As the February 5 deadline approaches for ACEP ALE applications, MALT members and landowners anticipate another standout year for agriculture land conservation in Montana. As always, we encourage all applicants to visit their local USDA FSA office right away, to achieve compliance on the front end of the application process. It is the goal of MALT leadership and land trust practitioners along with the NRCS easement staff to provide complete and fully organized applications, which favors timely and predictable closings for all ALE easements across the state.
This collaboration among landowners, land trusts and the NRCS has been a recipe for impressive agricultural conservation success in the state. Since the inception of the ACEP ALE program in 2014, Montana has conserved over 292,000 acres of private land for production agriculture. Furthermore, the program has also secured $84.2 million for farmers and ranchers from Eureka to Alzada and from Dell to Plentywood.
With the unequalled success of the ALE program in Montana over the last six years, we can expect, and do expect, another round of dynamic projects coming from our excellent land trust community, which would not be possible without the support and involvement of the finest ag producers on the landscape, right here in Montana.