1468.33 Enrollment process.§ 1468.33 Enrollment process.
(a) Tentative selection. Based on the priority ranking, NRCS will notify an affected landowner of tentative acceptance into the program.
(b) Effect of notice of tentative selection. The notice of tentative acceptance into the program does not bind NRCS or the United States to enroll the proposed project in ACEP-WRE, nor does it bind the landowner to continue with enrollment in the program. The notice informs the landowner of NRCS's intent to continue the enrollment process on their land.
(c) Acceptance and effect of offer of enrollment - (1) Wetland reserve easement. For applications requesting enrollment through a wetland reserve easement, NRCS will present an agreement to purchase to the landowner which will describe the easement area, the easement compensation amount, the easement terms and conditions, and other terms and conditions for participation that may be required by NRCS as appropriate. The easement compensation amount will be based upon the lowest of the fair market value of the land, the geographic area rate cap, or the landowner offer, as provided in § 1468.34 of this part. The landowner accepts enrollment in the ACEP-WRE by signing the agreement to purchase. NRCS will continue with easement acquisition activities after the property has been enrolled.
(2) 30-year contract. For applications requesting enrollment of acreage owned by an Indian Tribe through the 30-year contract option, NRCS will present an agreement to enter 30-year contract to the Tribal landowner which will describe the contract area, the contract compensation amount, the contract terms and conditions, and other terms and conditions for participation that may be required by NRCS as appropriate. The Tribal landowner accepts enrollment in the ACEP-WRE by signing the agreement to enter 30-year contract. NRCS will proceed with implementation of the WRPO after the 30-year contract has been executed.
(d) Restoration responsibility and the scope of enrollment. (1) The agreement to purchase or agreement to enter 30-year contract is the enrollment document that establishes the terms of enrollment consistent with the terms and conditions of this part and identifies the -
(i) Scope of the agreement between NRCS and the landowner,
(ii) Basis for NRCS to obligate funds,
(iii) Nature and method through which NRCS will provide ACEP-WRE technical and financial assistance to the landowner, and
(iv) Withholding of the landowner's share of the restoration cost from the easement payment for applicable 30-year or nonpermanent easement or 30-year contract enrollments.
(2) The agreement to purchase between NRCS and the landowner under the easement option also constitutes the agreement for -
(i) Granting an easement on the enrolled land and sufficient access to the enrolled land as set forth under § 1468.37,
(ii) Implementing a WRPO which provides for the restoration, protection, and management of the wetland functions and values,
(iii) Recording the easement in accordance with applicable State law, and
(iv) Ensuring the title to the easement is superior to the rights of all others, except for exceptions to the title that are deemed acceptable by NRCS and in accordance with Department of Justice Title Standards.
(3) The terms of the easement identified in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section includes the landowner's agreement to the implementation of a WRPO identified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section. In particular, the easement deed identifies that NRCS has the right to enter the easement area to undertake on its own or through an agreement with the landowner or other third party, any activities to restore, protect, enhance, manage, maintain, and monitor the wetland and other natural values of the easement area.
(4) At the time NRCS enters into an agreement to purchase, NRCS agrees, subject to paragraph (e) of this section, to acquire and provide for restoration of the land enrolled into the program.
(e) Withdrawal of offer of enrollment. Prior to execution of the easement deed or 30-year contract by the United States and the landowner, NRCS may withdraw the land from enrollment at any time due to lack of availability of funds, inability to clear title, insufficient access, sale of the land, risk of contamination from hazardous materials or petroleum products, or other reasons.
(f) Landowner failure to accept enrollment offer in timely manner. The offer of enrollment to the landowner will be void if not executed by the landowner within the time specified.