1415.5 Land eligibility.§ 1415.5 Land eligibility.
(a) GRP is available on privately owned lands, which include private and Tribal land. Publicly owned land is not eligible.
(b) Land is eligible for funding consideration if the State Conservationist determines that the land is:
(1) Grassland, land that contains forbs or shrubland (including improved rangeland and pastureland) for which grazing is the predominant use; or
(2) Located in an area that has been historically dominated by grassland, forbs, or shrubland, and the State Conservationist, with advice from the State Technical Committee, determines that it is compatible with grazing uses and related conservation values, and
(i) Could provide habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value if the land is retained in its current use or is restored to a natural condition,
(ii) Contains historical or archeological resources, or
(iii) Would address issues raised by State, regional, and national conservation priorities.
(c) Incidental lands, in conjunction with eligible land, may also be considered for enrollment to allow for the efficient administration of an easement or rental contract. Incidental lands may include relatively small areas that do not specifically meet the eligibility requirements, but as a part of the land unit, may contribute to grassland functions and values and related conservation values, or its inclusion may increase efficiencies in land surveying, easement management, and monitoring by reducing irregular boundaries.
(d) Land will not be enrolled if the functions and values of the grassland are already protected under an existing contract, easement, or deed restriction, or if the land already is in ownership by an entity whose purpose is to protect and conserve grassland and related conservation values. This land becomes eligible for enrollment in GRP if the existing contract, easement, or deed restriction expires or is terminated, and the grassland values and functions are no longer protected.
(e) Land on which gas, oil, earth, or other mineral rights exploration has been leased or is owned by someone other than the applicant may be offered for participation in the program. However, if an applicant submits an offer for an easement project, USDA will assess the potential impact that the third party rights may have upon the grassland resources. USDA reserves the right to deny funding for any application where there are exceptions to clear title on the property.