Title 7

SECTION 1468.2

1468.2 Administration.

§ 1468.2 Administration.

(a) The regulations in this part will be administered under the general supervision and direction of the NRCS Chief.

(b) NRCS may seek advice from the State technical committee on considerations relating to implementation and technical aspects of the program, such as identification of lands of statewide importance or special significance, review of State-level geographic area rate caps, development of ranking criteria, wetland restoration objectives, management considerations, including compatible use criteria, or related technical matters.

(c) NRCS may obtain input from Federal or State agencies, conservation districts, or other organizations in program administration. No determination by these agencies or organizations will compel NRCS to take any action which NRCS determines does not serve the purposes of the program established by this part.

(d) Applications may be submitted on a continuous basis or in response to specific program solicitations. NRCS may announce one or more application cut-off dates for funding consideration within a given fiscal year.

(e) The Chief may allocate funds for purposes related to: Encouraging enrollment by beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, Indian Tribes, and veteran farmers or ranchers as authorized by 16 U.S.C. 3844; implementing landscape and related initiatives, special pilot programs for easement management and monitoring; agreements with other agencies and organizations to assist with program implementation; coordination of easement enrollment across State boundaries; coordination of the development of easement plans for ACEP-WRE or conservation plans for ACEP-ALE; or for other goals of the ACEP found in this part.

(f) NRCS may delegate at any time its ACEP-WRE monitoring or management responsibilities to conservation organizations that have appropriate authority, expertise and technical and financial resources, as determined by NRCS, to carry out such delegated responsibilities.

(g) NRCS may delegate at any time its ACEP-WRE monitoring, management, or enforcement responsibilities to other Federal or State agencies that have the appropriate authority, expertise, and technical and financial resources, as determined by NRCS, to carry out such delegated responsibilities.

(h) For ACEP-ALEs, the easement holder is responsible to ensure the easement is monitored on an annual basis and to provide annually to NRCS a monitoring report. For ACEP-WREs, NRCS or its delegate, is responsible to monitor the easement on an annual basis and comply with applicable reporting requirements.

(i) No delegation in the administration of this part to lower organizational levels will preclude the Chief from making any determinations under this part, redelegating to other organizational levels, or from reversing or modifying any determination made under this part.

(j) The Chief may modify or waive nonstatutory, discretionary provisions of this part if the Chief determines the waiver of such discretionary provision is necessary to further the purposes of ACEP as part of an ACEP-ALE buy-protect-sell transaction or under the ACEP-WRE wetland reserve enhancement partnership option. The waiver must further ACEP purposes and be consistent with the specific ACEP-WRE or ACEP-ALE conservation purposes and objectives. No waiver will result in reducing the quality of wetland functions and values restored under ACEP-WRE, or the protection of agricultural viability under ACEP-ALE.

(k) To assist in ACEP implementation the Chief may also waive the applicability of the adjusted gross income limitation as authorized by section 1001D(b)(3) of the Food Security Act of 1985 for participating landowners if the Chief determines that environmentally sensitive land of special significance would be protected as a result of such waiver.