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NRCS Funding Opportunities for Conservation Easements with US Right of Enforcement


Learn about the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs that offer cost-share to land preservation boards and land conservancies that want to purchase conservation easements. Cost-share recipients can leverage funding for fifty percent of the easement purchase price for conservation easements that use the USDA program’s minimum deed terms and include US Rights of Enforcement.

The session will provide an overview of how land preservation boards and conservancies can apply for these programs, and what types of landowners and land uses are eligible for the conservation easements. The session also explains the involvement NRCS staff play in the easement acquisition and stewardship process.


There is no charge for this opportunity.


Melissa Hanner | NRCS Easement Program Manager, USDA NRCS
Melissa Hanner is the Easement Program Manager for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pennsylvania. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the Ohio State University. Melissa served in the Peace Corps for two years after graduation working with rice farmers in the Dominican Republic. Melissa started her career with NRCS as a field soil scientist performing update soils mapping on the Maryland Eastern Shore. Melissa took a brief hiatus from NRCS to perform easement stewardship work in the Everglades for Miami Dade County. Melissa returned to Maryland NRCS to provide GIS support for Soil Survey and Conservation Planning, and she performed monitoring for the Wetland Reserve Easement Program. Melissa later worked as Geospatial Team Lead for the National Resources Inventory in Portland, Oregon, and then as a Wetland Compliance Specialist for Ohio NRCS. Melissa presently serves as the Pennsylvania NRCS Easement Program Manager and works out of Harrisburg.






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