1415.18 Easement transfer to eligible entities.§ 1415.18 Easement transfer to eligible entities.
(a) NRCS may transfer title of ownership to an easement to an eligible entity to hold and enforce an easement if:
(1) The Chief determines that transfer will promote protection of grassland, land that contains forbs, or shrubland;
(2) The owner authorizes the eligible entity to hold and enforce the easement; and
(3) The eligible entity agrees to assume the costs incurred in administering and enforcing the easement, including the costs of restoration or rehabilitation of the land as specified by the owner and the eligible entity, and the entity assumes responsibility for enforcing the GRP management plan or conservation plan, as applicable, as approved by NRCS.
(b) NRCS has the right to conduct periodic inspections to verify the eligible entities enforcement of the easement, which includes the terms and requirements set forth in the GRP management plan and any associated restoration or conservation plan for any easements transferred pursuant to this section.
(c) An eligible entity that seeks to hold and enforce an easement will apply to the NRCS State Conservationist for approval.
(d) The Chief may approve an application if the eligible entity:
(1) Has relevant experience necessary, as appropriate for the application, to administer an easement on grassland, land that contains forbs, or shrublands;
(2) Has a charter that describes the commitment of the eligible entity to conserving ranch land, agricultural land, or grassland for grazing and conservation purposes;
(3) Possesses the human and financial resources necessary, as determined by the Chief, to effectuate the purposes of the charter;
(4) Has sufficient financial resources to carry out easement administrative and enforcement activities;
(5) Presents proof of a dedicated fund for enforcement as described in § 1415.17(b)(5), if the entity is a nongovernmental organization; and
(6) Presents documentation that the landowner has concurred in the transfer.
(e) The Chief or his or her successors and assigns, will retain a right of enforcement in any transferred GRP funded easement, which provides the Secretary the right to inspect the easement for violations and enforce the terms of this easement through any and all authorities available under Federal or State law, in the event that the eligible entity fails to enforce the terms of the easement, as determined by NRCS.
(f) Should an easement be transferred pursuant to this section, all warranties and indemnifications provided for in the deed will continue to apply to the United States. Upon transfer of the easement, the easement holder will be responsible for enforcement of the GRP management plan, as approved by NRCS, and implementation of any associated conservation or restoration plans and costs of such restoration as agreed to by the landowner and entity.
(g) Due to the Federal interest in the GRP easement, GRP-funded easements cannot be condemned.